Joanne was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2015 at the age of 33. Upon completing her treatments, she co-started a small website to connect survivors and patients in Hawaii with resources that she found to be useful during her journey. The website has since grown into a grassroots nonprofit, Breast Cancer Hawaii, which now offers in-person support and educational programming based on the needs of the local community. She is a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD program, as well as a trained patient advocate with the Young Survival Coalition and Living Beyond Breast Cancer organizations. She is currently a member of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access project with A Fresh Chapter. Locally, she serves on the UH Cancer Center Clinical Trials Office Patient Advocacy Council, UH Cancer Center Community Advisory Board, and Hawaii Young Healthcare Professionals’ leadership team. She has also served as the volunteer manager on Komen Hawaii’s race committee for several years. She is fluent in Japanese and also offers support to Japanese-speaking survivors. On the side, she is a freelance translator for Japanese dramas, manga, and anime.
- 2023 Cohort