Yara W

Chief Financial Officer

(she/her)

Hi, I’m Yara and I’m the BAYS CFO. I have an MBA and a background in management consulting.

 

A month after my 32nd birthday I felt a lump in my right breast. I was ready to ignore it, but, fortunately, my partner was having none of it… Two months, an ultrasound and a biopsy later, I got the call: it was cancer.

 

I quickly learned two things. First, as much as I loved Google, it was my worst enemy: There was very little out there that was actually useful, everything was inconclusive or not applicable because of my age. Second, even with the full support of my family and friends, I still felt like I had to shield them. I felt guilty bringing cancer into their lives so I wanted to manage what they saw. The consequence was that some emotions remained hidden.

 

When I first got diagnosed, a doctor I knew told me that one of the hardest things for Young Breast Cancer Patients is how lonely it can be. He encouraged me to find a support group and I begrudgingly added yet another thing to my cancer to-do list. Checking the list of resources I received from a nurse at UCSF, I found BAYS.

 

My conversations with BAYS members were the first time I truly cried in front of others and I cannot express how good it felt. I got actual answers to my questions – and to questions I didn’t know I should ask. I felt heard, seen, and graced with the generosity of complete strangers willing to dedicate hours of their day to talk to a confused new member and provide resources.

 

The moment my chemo-fog lifted, I knew I wanted to give back to this community in whatever little capacity that I can. It feels like an honour to use the tools I have learned in my career as a management consultant and in my MBA to support the wonderful people who were there for me – so they can focus on the important things, like being there for others.