Name… April Kennedy Knowles
City… Pensacola (Florida)
I live with my… Husband Richard, son Hunter & rescue dog Piper
I was diagnosed… De Novo Metastatic with HR+ HER2-, mixed Ductal/Lobular carcinoma with Mets to my spine at T-10 and Ischium.
In… March 2015
At the age of… 39
April Kennedy Knowles
Since my METS diagnosis, my life has been… Crazy, the first year was filled my doctor’s appointments and more doctor’s appointments. I had 7 months of chemo, two surgeries, radiation and more doctor’s appointments. I spent a lot of time on Google. I was very scared and tired. Now, in my second year of mets, my life is a little calmer and I have less doctor’s appointments. I’ve discovered MBC advocacy helps me use Google different. I want to help. I’ve taken on a leadership role at METUP. We use direct action of influence change of metastatic funding.
The hardest part of being metastatic is…. That EVERYTHING reminds you of cancer and your mortality. My driver’s license expired next month. When I get it renewed it is good for 8 years. I guess next month I will most likely be getting my last driver’s license. And watching my friends suffer and die, suffer and die like some morbid Wes Craven version of Ground Hogs Day.
My biggest fear is… Is dying while my son is still little and not remembering his name. I don’t want him to ever have to see me waste away, suffering.
My hope is that… We figure out of how manage this disease before I’m too sick (or dead) for it to matter.
I encourage others to… Fight the pink machine. We need research NOW. We have to stand up and yell, we need help now! Nothing will change the status quo of breast cancer if we sit and do nothing. Being angry is not a bad thing, through anger change happens.
April & Son
What matters most to me is… Spending time with my friends and family, taking in all the beautiful parts of life. Giving parts of myself to make a difference in the world.
The biggest lesson (personally), in all of this, has been… That you have to do it your way.
You can follow me at… On Twitter: @aprilknowles1, @metuporg
Facebook: MET UP
PLEASE DONATE TO (organization(s) of your choice)… METUP and metup.org
MET UP is committed to changing the landscape of metastatic cancer through direct action. We protest and demonstrate; we meet with government and health officials and researchers; we support research into metastatic disease; and we speak out against the sexualizing of breast cancer. We are convinced that the deaths of women and men from metastatic breast cancer are a paramount issue, and we pledge ourselves to oppose all who deny the reality of the 522,000 people who will die from metastatic breast cancer globally every year while waiting for a cure to be found.
There will be a march, die-in and legislative advocacy day on October 13th, National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. This is METUP’s 2nd Annual DC Die-In but this year because of the work of METAvivor and partnerships with LBBC, YSC and MBCC we are able to our message past the Capital Lawn and to The Hill. I expect this event to grow every year. We are getting our voices heard.
We, as a community, are really making a difference on social media. We have Komen talking about metastatic disease almost every day on Facebook. The National Breast Coalition is talking about their mets agenda on social media too. This means we can’t stop. We have to push until we see action. Just paying lip services to the only breast cancer take kills will not work anymore. We are demanding change. Let’s keep up the good work.