Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations; my journey having breast cancer is no different.


Hearing the words “you have breast cancer”, was devastating to me. The fear and uncertainty about my future was overwhelming and disconcerting. After the gauntlets of surgeries and treatments were over I experienced major gaps in targeted, age-appropriate, and connected health and wellness resources to help me feel inspired, empowered, and supported, and enable me to rise above the residual effects of breast cancer.


I felt alone and adrift as I began to process what had happened to me, while others around me seemed to unintentionally move on.  I was determined to fill the gaps I experienced and change the conversation about what it means to have breast cancer. I decided to start the iRise Above Foundation specifically for young women to help them heal, thrive, and be well after breast cancer. 

I believe that I get to choose the life I want to live - we all do! I also believe that there is no greater gift I can give or receive than to honor my calling - it is why I was born, and how I become most truly alive. 

As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the iRise Above Foundation I dedicate my life to helping others, because IT IS my calling. I give to inspire, empower, and support young women in their recovery to heal, thrive, and live well after breast cancer, and offer hope to those newly diagnosed. I do so because it feels good and the impact is great. By fulfilling our mission we honor those taken by the disease, and change the conversation about breast cancer from one of weakness to that of strength.

Breast cancer does not define a woman. 


                 Gillian Lichota

                 Founder & Chief Executive Officer

                 iRise Above Foundation