BAYS was founded to provide a support community for young people undergoing breast cancer treatment in the Bay Area and for Bay Area breast cancer survivors and thrivers.
Who We Are
BAYS was founded in 2003 with a mission to support young people experiencing breast cancer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over the past two decades we have grown bigger and more diverse, built a solid support network, and expanded our thriving community online to reach all our members wherever they are.
We welcome all individuals — from patients battling recurrent or metastatic breast cancer to long-term breast cancer survivors. We are an inclusive breast cancer support community — trans people and non-binary people are part of our family, and we welcome all LGBTQIA+ people into our community.
BAYS provides a community of support for those experiencing the unique issues that come with being a young person diagnosed with breast cancer. Young people with breast cancer in BAYS receive support on issues such as treatment options, doctor—patient relationships, side effect management, mental health, body image after surgery/treatment, navigating both breast cancer treatment and gender affirmation treatment, dating/relationships/sex, early menopause/loss of fertility, reproductive/parenting options, caring for young children, career path, recurrence/progression, life after treatment/the new normal, death and dying, and thriving and surviving.
all young people with breast cancer
of every ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.
Our Core Principles
We respect one another’s diversity.
Our members have a range of backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences.
We respect one another’s choices.
Our members listen with compassion and without judgment.
We respect one another’s privacy.
Our members hold all communications in complete confidence.
Two women, Angela Padilla and Deb Mosley, co-founded BAYS in 2003, after both were diagnosed with breast cancer. They had each tried going to support groups at their local hospitals, but they were young people with breast cancer and faced unique issues. Angela even brought her infant to support groups in those early days of her diagnosis, making it clear that young people with breast cancer face unique issues. Angela and Deb held the very first BAYS support group meeting in Deb’s apartment. They invited other young people they met in the chemo infusion centers and radiation waiting rooms, and word of the new group spread quickly. Within months, Deb’s living room became a haven for dozens of young women facing breast cancer and its aftermath, and the BAYS online network lit up with activity.
BAYS has grown to over 600 members since it was founded. Deb died of metastatic breast cancer in 2008. Angela is still an active member in the BAYS community.
You can see more of Angela’s story in these images and video.
BAYS is a support group and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.