To anyone who doesn’t know her well, Alex looks like a vivacious college-aged blonde, full of spirit and remarkable light. But we caught up with her on a good day. (And she had just tried cookies from Gideon’s Bakehouse for the first time after eating a bite of Farm & Haus, sooooo….). She was also a week out from chemo and feeling a little stronger than normal.
In January, while prepping for a night on the town with her girlfriends, Alex was putting on a sticky bra– Florida girls know the importance of these in summer (read: all the time, really) – when she felt an undeniable lump in her right breast. Not wanting to slow down the crew, she went on about her night. But by morning, she decided to make an appointment with her OB-GYN doctor.
At such a young age and with no family history of breast cancer, the doctors and Alex thought the odds were in her favor. Then four weeks and many appointments and biopsies later, Alex learned she had Stage 1 breast cancer. She just finished round four of six rounds of chemo.
Even in the midst of all the shit times that come along with cancer, Alex is hellbent on finding the silver linings. For one, she and her friends came up with a funny name to support her on her journey: Whitty’s Titty Committee.
While it’s fun and lighthearted, Alex and her friends take it very seriously. In New York, her friends have hosted Braless Brunches in her honor, donating to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Alex’s charity of choice for breast-cancer awareness. She’s started selling Whitty’s Titty Committee-branded swag and donates those funds as well to the foundation. She spends her days researching and writing and creating a platform for others in her position. Since only 5 percent of breast cancer patients are diagnosed under 40, Alex found that a lot of online resources weren’t that useful to her, so she’s using her voice (her blog) to do something about it.
The most important thing Alex says you can do to make a difference?
1. Be your own advocate. No one knows your body like you do, not even doctors.
2. Petition your insurance. If your insurance wouldn’t normally cover your mammogram because you’re under the age of 40, tell them why they should.
3. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, says Ice Cube. Life and death are closer than they are far apart.
4. Be grateful for your moments. Every one of them.
P.S. Taylor Swift, if you’re reading this, give our girl Alex a thumbs up, would ya?
P.S.S. Alex received some sweet news coverage from People and Orlando Sentinel recently. Check her out there too.
If you want to join and/or support #WhittysTittyCommittee, check out her site here. If you want a shirt – one of the pieces of swag she’s selling to raise funds –, check them out here. And if you want to research the foundation Alex donates to, you can do that here.