Young breast cancer survivors start local support groups

Think Pink: Young survivors form support group

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Marianne Knott was only 34 years-old and had just given birth to her third child when she received her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

"It was hard, it was definitely hard," recalls Knott. For support she says she turned to family, friends and a support group.

"They were a great help, but there weren't many younger women that could relate as far as having young kids and knowing what it's like to have to get up and get your kids ready for school, even though you got to go in for treatment," she said.

Knott said despite the support, she still felt alone.

Statistically, that was far from the case. According to the National Cancer Institute approximately 70 thousand men and women age 15 to 39 are diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. each year.

Melissa Dunn was also one of them. "It definitely was a surprise and not something your typical 25 year old goes through," said Dunn.

Now, both Dunn and Knott are living with no evidence of the disease and are finding a way to help other young survivors as they battle and overcome their health challenges.

The Tri- State women recently returned from a Young Survival Coalition National Conference in Atlanta. YSC is a nationwide support network tailored for breast cancer survivors under the age of 40. As state leaders, Knott and Dunn are starting local chapters of the support group.

"The day I was diagnosed I knew, once I get to the other side of this I'm going to do whatever I can to help other young women with cancer," added Knott.

The group's first meeting will be on April 29th at the Boone County Library in Burlington.  There is limited space available. Survivors can register by contacting the Cincinnati affiliate of Susan G. Komen at 513.671.9100 or emailing Marianne Knott at

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