The Authors

Meet The Authors

We welcome your emails — simply click on our names to send any of us a personal message.
(David will be responding to emails for his sister, Patti, and Chris will respond to emails for his wife, Jana.)

Patti Balwanz

Patti Balwanz was working as an information technology (IT) consultant when she found her lump. With a family history of breast cancer, she knew the importance of performing monthly breast self-exams (BSE).

Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 24, Patti subsequently had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction and chemotherapy. Two years after her original diagnosis, Patti was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer to her bones, lungs and liver.

During her recurrence, Patti became an advocate for the breast cancer cause, serving as a board officer of the Ribbons of Pink Foundation. Patti openly shared her experience with others, even allowing camera crews to film her while receiving chemotherapy treatments. In August 2001, Patti was honored with the foundation’s first “You Are an Inspiration” recognition. Patti attended Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU), where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in social work and became active in the Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority.

On Saturday, March 29, 2003, Patti died at home among friends and family after a long fight against breast cancer and a courageous life lived with it.

[email protected]

Jana Peters

Jana Peters was a registered nurse who learned about the importance of performing monthly breast self-exams (BSE) during college, where she attended the University of Kansas and was active in the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She later transferred to Washburn University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. 

Jana’s breast cancer diagnosis came shortly after she became engaged to be married. At 27 years old, while in the midst of planning her wedding, she underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Her cancer spread to her bones 18 months later, when she began continuous treatments for her cancer progression.

In October, 1999, Jana founded the Ribbons of Pink Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting breast health and supporting young breast cancer survivors. She also volunteered for a variety of other breast cancer organizations and was selected as one of twenty-five national Yoplait “Champions in the Fight Against Breast Cancer” honorees for 2006.

Jana enjoyed her professional career in the clinical research industry, where she worked at a large biopharmaceutical company in South San Francisco.

On Saturday, December 9, 2006, Jana died after an eight year fight against breast cancer and a courageous life lived with it.

[email protected]

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is a marketing professional who learned the importance of performing breast self-exams (BSE) while volunteering for the Susan G. Komen Foundation through her college sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha.

Jennifer was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27 while five months pregnant with her first child. She subsequently underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy during the pregnancy. The day following her last chemotherapy treatment in February 2000, she delivered a healthy baby boy, Parker Matthew. Proving that life does go on after a breast cancer diagnosis, she and her husband, Matt, welcomed a daughter, Emma Grace, in April 2003. Jennifer is currently cancer-free.

She is active in P.E.O. (a women’s philanthropic educational organization), the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection and also volunteers for several breast cancer organizations, including serving as a Reach to Recovery volunteer for the American Cancer Society, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Ribbons of Pink Foundation and the Pregnant with Cancer organization.

Jennifer graduated from Baker University with Bachelor of Science degrees in business marketing and fashion merchandising. Jennifer works for a large telecommunications company in Kansas City. She lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with her husband, Matt, and their two children, Parker and Emma.

[email protected]

Kim Carlos

Kim Carlos is a public affairs and strategic communications consultant who learned about the importance of breast self-exams (BSE) through her good friend and co-author, Patti.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 30 while in the midst of planning her son’s second birthday party. Three years later, after undergoing eight rounds of chemotherapy, a mastectomy with breast reconstruction, several other surgeries, and treatment for lymphedema, Kim is currently cancer-free.

Kim is serving as president of the board for the Greater Kansas City Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, was recently selected to serve on the Komen National Public Policy Council and helped bring a branch of the Young Survival Coalition to Kansas City. She also serves on the Missouri Cancer Consortium Committee, is a member of the American Cancer Society State Advocacy Committee and is Missouri co-chair for the National Patient Advocate Foundation. Kim has been honored nationally for her advocacy efforts by SELF magazine and Lifetime Television. Kim also continues to be very involved in other community organizations, including the University of Missouri-Kansas City Women’s Center and the Women’s Employment Network.

Recently, Kim decided to focus on her passion full-time and left the practice of law to start her own business, K.C. Consulting, where she focuses on grassroots advocacy, governmental relations and public relations, as well as motivational speaking. Kim graduated with honors from Southwest Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and received her Juris Doctorate with honors from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. She resides in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband, Scott, and their five-year-old son, Brandon.

[email protected]

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Resources

Breast Cancer Resources

The American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer Network
(800) ACS-2345
www.cancer.org
The American Cancer Society is a nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service. The site contains breast cancer basics, information about clinical research trials and free programs such as the Reach to Recovery program, which provides one-on-one support to newly diagnosed patients. 

Breastcancer.org
Breastcancer.org is a nonprofit organization for breast cancer education. The site contains medical information, research news, a celebrity talking dictionary, pictures of breast cancer, discussion boards, open chat rooms and more. The mission of breastcancer.org is to help women and their loved ones make sense of the complex medical and personal information about breast cancer, so they can make the best decisions for their lives.

Fertile Hope
(888) 994-HOPE
www.fertilehope.org
Fertile Hope is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing reproductive information, support and hope to cancer patients whose medical treatments present the risk of infertility.

FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered)
www.facingourrisk.org
FORCE is a nonprofit organization for women who are at high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer because of family history and genetic status and for members of families in which a BRCA mutation may be present. 

KidsCope
www.kidscope.org
KidsCope’s mission is to help children and families understand the effects of cancer or chemotherapy on a loved one, to provide suggestions for coping and to develop innovative programs and materials that communicate a message of hope to diverse families coping with this crisis.

Kids Konnected
(800) 899-2866
www.kidskonnected.org
Kids Konnected provides peer support and age-appropriate books for children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.

Komen Champions for the Cure™
www.actnowendbreastcancer.org
Komen Champions for the Cure™ is a grassroots program designed to educate Congress, the president and other policymakers about breast cancer through community involvement. 

Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF)
www.livestrong.org
(512) 236-8820
The mission of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) is to inspire and empower people with cancer to live strong. They serve their mission through education, advocacy, public health, and research programs. LAF believes that in the battle with cancer, unity is strength, knowledge is power, and attitude is everything. Founded in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the LAF provides the practical information and tools people living with cancer need to live strong.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC)
Survivors’ Help Line (888-753-LBBC)
www.lbbc.org
The mission of Living Beyond Breast Cancer is to empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. TLBBC offers educational information to women affected by breast cancer. Programs include conferences, teleconferences, newsletters, survivors’ help line, young survivors’ network and other outreach programs. 

Men Against Breast Cancer 
www.menagainstbreastcancer.org
Men Against Breast Cancer is the first national nonprofit organization designed to provide targeted support services to educate and empower men to be effective caregivers when breast cancer strikes a female loved one. It also targets and mobilizes men to be active participants in the fight to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease.

Mothers Supporting Daughters with Breast Cancer (MSDBC)
www.mothersdaughters.org
This is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing support to mothers whose daughters have been diagnosed with breast cancer. This organization offers a free mother’s handbook and daughter’s companion booklet that provides basic information about breast cancer and its treatment as well as some recommended constructive ways for mothers to provide support physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually. The organization also matches mothers with mother volunteers across the country based on the daughter’s (patient’s) clinical age at time of diagnosis and anticipated treatment plan. 

National Breast Cancer Coalition
www.natlbcc.org
The National Breast Cancer Coalition is a grassroots advocacy effort in the fight against breast cancer. In 1991, the coalition was formed with one mission—to eradicate breast cancer through action and advocacy. To achieve its mission, the National Breast Cancer Coalition focuses on three main goals. Research: Increasing appropriations for high-quality, peer-reviewed research and working within the scientific community to focus research on prevention and finding a cure; Access: Increasing access for all women to high-quality treatment and care, and to breast cancer clinical trials; and Influence: Increasing the influence of women living with breast cancer and other breast cancer activists in the decision making that impacts all issues surrounding breast cancer.

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
www.canceradvocacy.org
The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship is the oldest survivor-led cancer advocacy organization in the country and a highly respected authentic voice at the federal level, advocating for quality cancer care for all Americans and empowering cancer survivors. 

National Cancer Institute
www.cancer.gov
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one of eight agencies that compose the Public Health Service (PHS) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The NCI, established under the National Cancer Act of 1937, is the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training. NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients. The web site has up-to-date information on current clinical trials available. 

National Consortium of Breast Centers 
www.breastcare.org
The National Consortium of Breast Center’s mission and purpose is “to promote excellence in breast health care for the general public through a network of diverse professionals dedicated to the active exchange of ideas and resources.” The website also provides a directory of breast centers.

National Patient Advocate Foundation
www.npaf.org
The National Patient Advocate Foundation is an organization whose mission is to create avenues of access to insurance funding for evolving therapies, therapeutic agents and devices for patients through legislative and policy reform.

Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
(800) 532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org
Patient Advocate Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to empower patients to take control of their health care. Case managers work with patients to discover local, state and federal programs that provide assistance for their individual needs. If you or someone you know needs assistance with their insurer, employer and/or creditor regarding insurance, job retention and/or debt crisis matters relative to their diagnosis of life-threatening or debilitating diseases, please contact PAF. 

Pregnant with Cancer Network 
(800) 743-4471
www.pregnantwithcancer.org
This national network was created by three women who all lived through cancer during pregnancy. This special bond has now grown into a national support group. The mission of the Pregnant with Cancer Support Group is to let women who have been diagnosed while pregnant know that they are not alone. 

Ribbons of Pink Foundation Fund 
www.ribbonsofpink.org
The mission of the Ribbons of Pink Foundation (ROP) is to promote breast health and support young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Founded in 1999, ROP provides a free e-mail reminder sent on the first day of the month to promote monthly breast self-exams (BSE), utilizing a unique tool called the “BSE Tracker.” ROP also provides grants and funding to other non-profit organizations that support the ROP mission. 

Sharsheret 
(866) 474-2774
www.sharsheret.org
Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization of cancer survivors dedicated to addressing the unique challenges facing young Jewish women living with breast cancer. Sharsheret, Hebrew for “chain,” was founded in 2001 by Rochelle Shoretz, who recognized the need for a breast cancer organization that would provide culturally sensitive support for Jewish women after her own diagnosis at age 28.  

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
(800) I’M-AWARE 
www.komen.org
For more than 20 years, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has been a global leader in the fight against breast cancer through its support of innovative research and community-based outreach programs. Working through a network of U.S. and international affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, the Komen Foundation is fighting to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by funding research grants and supporting education, screening and treatment projects in communities around the world. 

Susan Love, M.D.
www.susanlovemd.org
Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, Vol. 3
This fully revised edition of Dr. Love’s book reflects every major new development in breast care, screening, diagnosis, treatment and research. 

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization
(800) 221-2141 (24 hour national hotline)
www.y-me.org
The mission of Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization is to ensure, through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone. Services include a 24-hour Y-ME national hotline, wig and prosthesis bank, advocacy in action and culturally sensitive breast cancer services and resources.

Young Survival Coalition
www.youngsurvival.org
The Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the only international, nonprofit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the concerns and issues that are unique to young women and breast cancer. Through action, advocacy and awareness, the YSC seeks to educate the medical, research, breast cancer and legislative communities and to persuade them to address breast cancer in women 40 and under. The YSC also serves as a point of contact for young women living with breast cancer.

Event

Nordie’s at Noon Authors Are On the Move and In the News

We hope you can join us at one of our upcoming events. For more information on any of the events, please e-mail us at [email protected] Also, if you are interested in having us speak at an event, please contact [email protected]

Meet the Authors!

11/18
Saturday, November 18 
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Nordstrom Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek 
1200 Broadway Plaza 
Walnut Creek, CA 
To learn more, call 925.930.7959

10/28
Saturday, October 28 
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Nordstrom West County 
Lingerie, on two

47 West County Center 
Des Peres, MO
To learn more, call 314.255.2000 extension 1240

10/14
Saturday, October 14 
8:00 a.m. Wellness Breakfast 
Nordstrom Mall of America 
Café Nordstrom, on three

1000 NW Court 
Bloomington, MN

10/7

Saturday, October 7
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Nordstrom Woodfield Shopping Center
Lingerie, on three

6 Woodfield Shopping Center
Schaumburg, IL

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Nordstrom Oakbrook Center
Lingerie, on one

10 Oak Brook Center
Oak Brook, IL

3/25

4th Annual Issues After Breast Cancer Conference – “The Power of Resilience” – Kim presented a session entitled “A New Sense of Normal”— Conference sponsored by Turning Point, Kansas City Cancer Center, Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Johnson County Community College – 8:30 am – 3:30 pm – Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas.

3/17

Audrian Medical Center Annual Cancer Conference. Kim presented a session on “I Have Cancer — Now What?” and then had a book signing with attendees. This event was targeted to physicians, nurses, and medical providers. Mexico, MO.

2/25

Young Survivors Conference. Nordie’s at Noon was a featured book with a book signing by Jana and Jennifer. Denver, CO. 

Alpha Sigma Alpha District Days. Kim spoke about her breast cancer experience and doing a book signing. Lawrence, Kansas.

1/21

Meet the authors & book signing 1 – 4 p.m. at The Book Barn — 410 Delaware, Leavenworth, Kansas. 913-682-6518.

Fall 2006 – At Home in the Northland.

September/October 2006 The P.E.O. Record.

September/October 2006 MAMM Magazine.

10/18

Lifetimetv.com: “Lunch Therapy — Lifetime chats with breast cancer survivor Jennifer Johnson, co-author of the recently released Nordie’s at Noon.”

10/17

Women Aloud 2:30 CST/3:30 EST.

Newsweek.com: “It’s Not Just the Over-40s. Breast cancer strikes younger women too.  How to spot signs of trouble.”

10/13

FOX 9 “Morning News” – (Minneapolis)

10/12

The Leavenworth Times: “Local authors acquire national distributor for book on cancer.”

10/11

Satellite Sisters Radio

10/9

PEOPLE Magazine — 4 Star Book Review

10/6

CN8-TV — “Your Morning on CN8” 

Geraldo at Large

10/1

Life’s Work with Lisa Belkin — Take Five – XM Radio 155

1/6

Pepper and Friends – KOMU-TV Channel 8, Columbia, MO.

1/12

Inside Columbia (Magazine) “Luncheon Legacy. Book brings hope and peace to those in the fight against cancer.”