Elizabeth Sargent, triple negative breast cancer survivor by the age of 34, is co-founder of Breast Cancer Comfort Site—a virtual wellspring where breast cancer patients and survivors can gain nourishment and guidance through their metamorphosis. Elizabeth is an internationally acclaimed author, real estate developer, former promoter of the World Championship of Snowboarding, certified Yoga instructor and incredibly, a mom. Only one of these came before breast cancer—the snowboard contests.
Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Politics cum laude from Pomona College as well as a Masters with Honors from the University of Denver in Applied Communication – which she calls a Masters in Sales. At the age of 34, Elizabeth thought she was trying to convince her boyfriend, with whom she had spent a year traveling the world, to marry her and get her real estate business off the ground. It turned out she was going to be battling breast cancer, fighting for her life. Her diagnosis of a triple negative tumor combined with 7 cancerous lymph nodes and her young age made her doctors look very serious indeed. But she was herself and would not become a statistic – 60% to 90% chance of death, if you want to know; but it had been a 92% chance of survival with her mom’s breast cancer battle and she ultimately died when Elizabeth was 18.
In the middle of her fight she decided to write a book as well as begin her real estate development career by buying a 1925 apartment building in South Beach that needed to be rebuilt in place. She fought cancer and wrote the book and in this love letter to women she chronicles her “trip down the rabbit hole of her breast cancer treatment” to reaching the medically significant five year survival milestone and learning to fully live consciously. The book, FIVE, was published and praised for sharing “her journey, how she learns to receive life, live above the challenges, and meet fate head on.” Outstanding reviews continue and she has been profiled on WUSA 9 (CBS Affiliate).
And while finishing the building along came Tomy—the super surprise baby she thought the cancer treatment would rob her of. And the boyfriend became husband and the family moved to Costa Rica for the next two real estate development projects. In Costa Rica, Elizabeth was able to pursue her long time dream of spending a month at Yoga teacher training as well as co-write, with her childhood friend and fellow triple negative breast cancer survivor, Melanie A. Nix, You Have Breast Cancer…Now What? Inspiration for Moving Through Breast Cancer Treatment, Planting Some New Roots and Blossoming Again treatment journal. Which really ties in with what she has learned from her journey; it is not that life is too short to live unconsciously – it is too precious.
MELANIE A. NIX
Melanie A. Nix is the quintessential soul of a survivor whose rousing messages offer a blueprint for regeneration after cancer. Lauded for her masterful presentations, her keynote addresses, trainings and videos have buoyed countless lives from victim to victor. A voice that must be heard; Melanie is an eloquent storyteller who blends wit with sensitivity. A Resilience Coach, Reconstructionist™ and Health and Wellness Advocate, she has been profiled by several media outlets including NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams and CURE Magazine. She has earned invitations from The White House and The Vice President’s Residence where she has shared her experiences on survival, health care and breast cancer.
From caregiver to patient; from breastfeeding to breast cancer, cancer can change your life in an instant. Melanie has endured a life changing cancer “instant” in every decade of her life beginning at age eight with her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis, her mother’s recurrences and eventual death combined with Melanie’s own triple negative breast cancer diagnosis at 38.
Melanie defines herself as A Reconstructionist™! A woman who has devised principles for healing and rebuilding. Through her inspirational resilience she has conceived a masterplan for surviving, preserving moxie and being a determined combatant against devastation and destruction. She is a highly sought after and recognized spokesperson for breast cancer: (prophylactic) mastectomy, BRCA1 genetic mutation, prophylactic oophorectomy, balancing motherhood while enduring breast cancer treatment; health care diversity and inclusion; loss, grief and survival; braving change and winning.
Her passionate, bare all style resonates with international audiences.
- “Blown away by her energy and courage”; “so inspired”;
- “Your words, stories, feelings, advice is exactly what I needed to hear”;
- “Your story gave me such HOPE”.
These are a sampling of the testimonials from Melanie’s keynote addresses to businesses, universities and colleges and nonprofit organizations. A spiritually guided woman, she is thoughtful and compassionate, underscored in her manifesto Soul of a Survivor and her pioneering greeting cards for breast cancer patients and survivors.
Melanie, an avid runner, loves music, movies, the serenity of being ocean side and long, restorative naps! A fifth generation breast cancer patient, she is the co-founder of Breast Cancer Comfort Site and serves on numerous health advisory councils and boards. Her health and wellness advocacy includes becoming a post-cancer distance runner. She polished her public speaking and presentation skills during her successful 15+ year corporate career and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Robert H. Smith School of Business – University of Maryland, College Park and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia. Melanie resides in the Washington, DC area with her cherished family, husband, Raymond; son, Carter; and daughter, Kennedy.
SPEAKING AND MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Keynote and Featured Speaker
- National Consortium of Breast Centers 29th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference
- Anne Arundel Medical Center – National Cancer Survivors Day(r)
- The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute JamesCare for Life 3rd Annual Breast Cancer Survivorship Conference
- Coppin State University – Breast Cancer Panelist
- Northern Virginia Community College – Keynote Lecturer
- Panelist at Congressional Briefing on Proposed Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
- Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer Conference
- Zion Baptist Church Pink Meets Blue: Sponsors a Celebration of Cancer Survivorship
- Auxiliary to the Medico-Chirurgical Society of DC, Inc. Triple Negative Breast Cancer Workshop
- American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting Special Program for High School Students
- Young Survival Coalition’s YSC Summit 2015 National Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer and their Co-survivors
- Auxiliary to the National Medical Association, Inc. 2014 Annual Convention Workshop II: Women’s Health: My Triple Negative Breast Cancer Story
- Rally for Medical Research
- American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Support Group Women’s History Month Celebration
- American Association press conference releasing the Cancer Progress Report 2012
Videos and Public Service Announcements
- An African American Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor: Melanie Nix’s Storyproduced by the National Cancer Institute
- Breast Cancer Awareness: Access to Care Roundtable participant with Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and actress and breast cancer advocate Jennifer Aniston
- Melanie Nix: Cancer Research Saves Lives, a 30 second commercial produced by the American Association for Cancer Research and airing in National Cancer Research Month 2014 (May 2014)
- She’s Not a Statistic: Melanie Nix’s Storyproduced by the American Association for Cancer Research for National Cancer Research Month 2014 that underscores the lifesaving effects of cancer research
- WUSA9 Morning News (CBS Affiliate)
- NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
- TALK on DCN: Melanie Nix discussing her breast cancer experience
- WTOP Radio
- African Views Radio
Magazines/New sites/Periodicals/Medical Journals and Reports
- The Southwester
- Honey Magazine
- American Association for Cancer Research Progress Report 2012
- SMITH BUSINESS Magazine
- VIRGINIA The UVa Magazine
- CURE Magazine
PUBLICATIONS AND CREATIVE WORKS
- Soul of a Survivor a collection of poems, mantras and essays
- A Long, Long Way from Home in the Auxiliary to the National Medical Association, Inc. Newsletter (Fall 2014 – Winter 2015), 6-8
- Get Off the Sidelines and Help Win the War on HBOC (Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer)
- huMAN huGs™ – helping uplift greeting cards for breast cancer patients and survivors
- Founder and owner of huMAN Expressions™ (helping uplift by Melanie A. Nix), a social stationery and design firm that created the 2009 Mother’s Day card for Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and huMAN huGs™ greeting cards for breast cancer patients and survivors
HEALTH AND WELLNESS ADVOCACY
- Joining other survivors and health advocates at President Barack Obama’s announcement of his Precision Medicine Initiative
- The American Association for Cancer Research Foundation website supporting fundraising for cancer research
- Joining other health advocates and families at Presidential remarks – President Obama Explains How Health Reform is Helping Women
- 2015 and 2014 completion of American Association for Cancer Research Scientist↔Survivor Program
- ABOUT (American BRCA Outcomes & Utilization of Testing) Network – Steering Committee Member
- Capital Breast Care Center – Member, Community Advisory Council
- Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute – Inaugural Member, Advisory Panel on Patient Engagement, 2013-2015
- Thelma D. Jones Breast Cancer Fund – Board Member
FITNESS HIGHLIGHTS – #EXERCISING4MYLIFE CAMPAIGN
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon
- Army Ten Miler – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018
- Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run – 2016 and 2018
2015 and 2014 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k fundraiser for Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center