Survivor Stories

Christine Trimble

Christine Trimble

Christine Trimble is no stranger to high pressure and stress. As the Vice President of Public Affairs for Qualcomm, she handles national and global public policy challenges for one of the leading mobile technology companies and one of the largest companies in San Diego. But this proud U.C. Berkeley graduate, mother, wife and business leader said nothing prepared her for the September day in 2014 when she was told she had Stage III C invasive ductal carcinoma Breast Cancer.

“I will always look back on that day as the worst of my life. I knew my life had taken an unexpected turn and would never be the same,” said Christine. “As informed as I thought I was and had been there for friends fighting cancer—when I was diagnosed I was thrust into an unknown world of breast cancer at a meteoric speed. I had no idea how much I needed to learn. I didn’t know what questions to ask and I didn’t have the context for the information I was being given.”  Read More >


Rochelle was Susan G. Komen San Diego’s 2015 Co-honorary Survivor.

“More than 10 of my family members had breast cancer.”
In 2008, Rochelle was flying to see her dad who was dying from breast cancer. While she was on a layover she got the call he passed before she even got there. Read More >


Fran was Susan G. Komen San Diego’s 2015 Co-honorary Survivor.

“I think I walked into this so blind because I didn’t know anyone who had cancer.”
Unlike Rochelle, Fran did not have any family history of breast cancer so she didn’t think she was at risk. Read More >


Robin was Susan G. Komen San Diego’s 2013 Honorary Survivor.

Robin Rasmussen Marella was Susan G. Komen San Diego’s 2013 Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor. The loss of her mother to breast cancer three years prior to her own diagnosis played a major role in how she advocated for herself during her own battle. She also credits her survival to the support of her family and Komen San Diego.
Read More >

Lupe Cerda

Lupe Cerda came into our office this week to sign up 43 team members and donated $625. She told us that because she had no insurance and very little money she turned to Komen. Komen’s grantee, La Maestra Clinic found her breast cancer and treated her. She sold tamales door to door to raise this money so she could help give back to Komen who helped her. Read More >


San Diego’s Deputy Fire Chief Named Susan G. Komen’s 2014 Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor

Lorraine Hutchinson’s new role set to empower and educate San Diegans and African Americans about the importance of early detection.

Susan G. Komen San Diego announced Lorraine Hutchinson, a Deputy Chief in the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department…
Read More >


Summoning Up the Healing Spirit…in a Flash

Imagine being on the brink of tremendous nationwide success with your home-grown business, and all of a sudden, you’re diagnosed with breast cancer. If you’re Lisa Hinkley, co-founder of the San Diego craft beer company Green Flash Brewing Company, you summon up the healing spirit that comes from a husband’s support…

Rea More > 

Irene Oberbauer

Fundraiser Extraordinaire

Over the past four years, Irene Oberbauer has raised more than $100,000 for Susan G. Komen San Diego.  Put that in real terms:  $100,000 funds 800 lifesaving mammograms, 8 complete courses of chemotherapy or 2,000 days of meals for women struggling to put food on the table during treatment…

Read More >

Manuel Hernandez, Co-Survivor

“My heritage as a Kumeyaay Indian from the Barona Band of Mission Indians fuels my passion for this cause as well. I have met too many women on the reservation who do not understand why it’s important for them to get regular screenings and be aware of their bodies.” ….

Read More >

Mother Ramos

Mother Ramos’ story is told through her daughter, Maria.  Here is Maria’s story:

Awareness is key…it started out with my Mom telling my Dad she felt a lump…in her late-40’s.  She had a cyst removed.  Then, years later, she made Dad aware she felt something else.  In her early 50’s she had a mastectomy.  From then until….



Meet Lourdes Moreno.
Lifelong professional cook. And in-treatment breast cancer patient since 2012. When 53-year-old Lourdes was diagnosed with breast cancer, she got two doses of bad news—her doctors told her the hot kitchen she worked in was unhealthy, and she needed to stop working in that environment. That day in the doctor’s office left her without income. Without health benefits. And with what she thought was a death sentence.

Luckily for Lourdes, a community surrounds her here…
Read More >


I was 35, single, a successful Realtor and had the whole summer of fun and vacations ahead. Just before leaving on my trip home, I found a lump under my armpit. “It’s just a cyst, I’m sure. I’m never sick,” I thought. Fortunately I had it checked out and the next week when I was diagnosed was the beginning of my new life. I had a double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and the birth of a new mindset.

Breast cancer can be…


There’s busy, and there’s Elida Valdivia. With four sons ages 1, 3, 11 and 20, and a constant balancing act between work and motherhood, there’s rarely time left for anything else. But when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, she had no choice but to put herself first.”I didn’t know much about cancer before it happened to me,” Valdivia said of her diagnosis. “I had heard some things on TV and in the community, but I was the first person in my family to get it, so it was scary. I didn’t…Read More > 


Sonia is back. Back among the living.

The 41-year-old mom and grandmother first felt a lump in her breast three years ago at the age of 38. “I was told I was too young to have breast cancer; to stop wearing under wire bras…” Sonia said. “Since there was no history of breast cancer in my family they thought it was most probably a swollen lymph node.”

“I was getting older. My breasts were changing,” she said, believing that the lump was nothing to worry

Read More >


My name is Patricia Cacho-Gomez. I’m a 48 year old wife and mother of two.

I just wanted to share my story to let everyone know that no matter what stage you are diagnosed with, there will be challenges you need to fight and be strong.

I’m especially thankful and grateful for my wonderful family. From the day I was diagnosed with the “C” word, Manuel, my husband held me as if he was never going to let me go. His calm manner and patience helped me control my feelings and…
Read More >

Walter and His Mom Janice

David and Goliath.

Meet Walter Nesses. He’s our ‘David.’ Seventeen years young. Thousands of years old in his soul.

You’re already familiar with Goliath. Today we call it breast cancer.

This is the story of how Walter has discovered incredible powers to fight cancer starting with the power of one. Walter is a student at the San Diego Jewish Academy. And before we get to Goliath, you should know that just in this past year, Walter has had two brain surgeries performed on him….
Read More >


Eloisa’s Story, told by her daughter Guadalupe:

“My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer Stage 4 in 2003. All we heard was ‘death sentence.’ After countless radiation and chemo treatments, we heard the words we wanted to hear—her cancer was in remission. Almost seven years passed when she started having symptoms where she couldn’t eat and had trouble breathing. We had gone through a tough time already because my grandmother passed away November 13th, and we buried her…
Read More >


Juanita was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer when she was 49 years old. She went from having a tumor in her breast, to having 17 tumors throughout her body, even affecting her blood and lymph nodes. She had been feeling exhausted and sick, but thought it was menopause. When the doctors told her it was stage four, she thought there must be a five, six, seven, and eight. She was all smiling at her first treatment while talking to the other women in the waiting room and… 
Read More >