Powerful advocate for breast cancer survivors dies

“Powerful advocate for breast cancer survivors dies” by Liz Szabo, USA Today.

Jody Schoger understood what it meant to be isolated. She once described how she “curled up like a turtle” in her hospital bed while fighting the life-threatening infection that followed surgery for breast cancer in 1998.

“I remember never even opening the blinds, just hibernating,” Schoger told me. “I even started sleeping with the blankets pulled over my head. I was at the edge of the world.”

Schoger never wanted anyone else to feel that alone. She spent the last years of her life working to bring people affected by breast cancer together, connecting them to information and each other. Through her blog and a breast cancer support group that she co-founded on Twitter, Schoger became a teacher, a guide and a fearless friend to countless men and women, most of whom she never met in person. The Twitter group called #BCSM, or Breast Cancer Social Media, has grown into a global community. Its hash tag has been used by more than 38,000 people.

Today, that community is in mourning. Schoger died Wednesday at age 61 from breast cancer, which returned 15 years after she was first diagnosed.

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