Meet Jessica, Founder and Chief Advocate
Jessica Baladad is a 5-year cancer survivor who became a passionate advocate after a practitioner dismissed a malignant lump in her breast during a clinical exam.
Thankfully, Jessica learned how to do a self breast exam after having a benign tumor removed while she was in college, and it was a routine she maintained throughout adulthood. Two weeks after her clinical appointment, Jessica was doing a self exam in the shower when she found a lump, the same lump her practitioner failed to tell her about and documented as “normal.”
Jessica was later diagnosed with Stage 2B invasive ductal carcinoma. She underwent 16 rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, 24 rounds of radiation, a hysterectomy and a 10-hour flap reconstruction.
She started Feel For Your Life as a social media outreach project to encourage women to be their breast health advocates, and in 2021, Jessica became the first breast cancer survivor to create an app that provides resources for doing self breast exams and getting screened, allows users to track and monitor their changes, and lets users set reminders for doing self exams.
Since launching the app, she’s helped write legislation in the State of Tennessee to promote risk-reducing measures against cancer and disease. Billed as the Feel For Your Life Act, it requires high school students to learn about self breast exams, testicular exams and skin exams. Additionally, Jessica has spoken before members of congress in to eliminate PBMs, QALY scores and co-pay accumulators. These efforts will help ensure patients get better access to healthcare without the bureaucracy of insurance companies.
When Jessica isn’t advocating, she enjoys traveling and exploring new places, attending sporting events with her husband and photographing animals.
Want to reach out to Jessica? Contact her at info[at]feelforyourlife.com.
Jessica's Breast Cancer Journey
Jessca did 16 rounds of dose-dense chemotherapy - 4 rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxan and 12 rounds of Taxol.
About a month after completing chemotherapy, Jessica had a double mastectomy. The remainder of the tumor was removed with a cluster of lymph nodes.
Two months after her double mastectomy, Jessica started radiation. Jessca received 24 rounds over five weeks. On May 3, 2019, she received news that she was officially cancer free!
After 18 months of injections that kept my ovaries asleep, Jessica opted to have a complete hysterectomy in an effort to keep her body from producing future cancers.
After waiting through the pandemic to have her breasts reconstructed, Jessica underwent a 10-hour surgery where fat, tissue and blood vessels from her abdomen were placed into her chest.
In addition to her work with Feel For Your Life, Jessica has been featured in commercials for the NFL’s Crucial Catch Campaign, recognized for her advocacy efforts by The Dave Ramsey Show, honored as Western Kentucky University’s Alumni of the Week in October 2020, featured on Good Morning America's Together in Pink feature, and serves as a community ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Connect with Jess!
If you want to collaborate on a project, talk about breast health advocacy or just want to grab lunch, send Jessica a message at info[at]feelforyourlife.com.