Patient Advocate, Young Survival Coalition
At the age of 38, Desirée Walker was diagnosed with breast cancer, which recurred at age 47. For many who have had to fight breast cancer, Walker serves as an advocate for patients by openly speaking about her diagnosis to audiences nationally. The core of her message is to encourage patients to truly know their body and feel empowered to steward self, mind, body and soul. Through SHARE’s Side by Side Program, she trains medical students and doctors on how to deliver disappointing news and vehemently supports the importance of patient/doctor communication. Walker volunteers with the Witness Project® of Harlem, SHARE Dedicated experienced support for women facing breast and ovarian cancers and Young Survival Coalition (YSC) as vice president of the board of directors. She is also a member of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s Cancer Policy Advocacy Team Steering Committee, The Central Institutional Review Board for the National Cancer Institute, and The Tisch Cancer Institute’s Cancer Care Accelerator Group. She has served as a panelist and speaker at numerous conferences, has appeared on numerous television and news programs, and is featured in Survivors in Spirit’s DVD, Living, Loving and Learning – The Facts about African American Women and Breast Cancer Survivorship, Cancer.Net’s “Navigating Challenges” video series for people newly diagnosed with cancer, and Novartis’ Video “Emotional Impact”. Walker facilitates a support group for women of African heritage who are dealing with breast or ovarian cancers and is a graduate of the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Project LEAD®. She is a reviewer for the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for breast cancer and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. SHARE, Sisters’ Journey, The Keep A Breast Foundation and YSC have recognized Walker for her outstanding work as a volunteer, community leader and educator, and she has received NBCC’s Grassroots Advocacy Award, African Women Cancer Awareness Association’s Torch Bearer Award, the NAACP Parkchester Branch’s Woman of the Year Award and Young Survival Coalition’s Game Changer Award.