South Jersey breast cancer survivor blogs experience to help others

The internet and social media both play such a big role in our life, it's only natural they become an outlet for people dealing with cancer.

A South Jersey woman has been documenting her journey, and found an unexpected audience. Now she's helping others beat the odds against breast cancer.

Breast cancer literally came as a wake-up call for Kristin Hurley.

"I went to turn off the alarm clock, and it was big enough that I felt it with my arm. I panicked, freaked out," she recalled.

Even before she got the biopsy results on that lump, Kristin and her husband decided to share her experience with family, friends and their close-knit community.

A friend suggested she start a blog - and Kristin agreed.

"It helped my husband and teenage daughter not to have to answer all the questions," she said.

Within days, over a thousand people read her blog. Now, Kristin has 10,000 followers.

The process gave her an emotional outlet.

"By putting it all out there, it made it less scary," she said.

Her surgeon, Dr. Nicole Figueredo of Virtua says it's important for patients to express their emotions.

"It does help women digest what they're going through, and process their diagnosis," said Dr. Figueredo.

Kristin blogs, but other women express themselves through other forms of art by organizing events and other activities.

For Kristin, it's not just about pouring out her emotions. She takes care to factually describe her treatments and side effects as well as her thoughts on tough decisions, like mastectomies and reconstruction.

"She's been able to educate now thousands of people," sadi Dr. Figueredo.

"I didn't think strong would ever describe me, but now I know that it does," said Kristin.

Kristin's journey also opened up another opportunity - she was an actor in an ad Virtua and Penn Medicine created for their joint cancer program.

To read about Kristen's journey, CLICK HERE.
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