After 14 years, breast cancer reappears as Stage IV diagnosis for Kim Hagerich

By Whitney Fishburn


Kim Hagerich was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer at the age of 36, when her daughters were one and three years old. Now, at the age of 50, with teenage daughters, she’s still getting used to the idea that she is a stage IV patient. In this interview, she discusses the differences between the first diagnosis fourteen years ago and the current one, why she believes patients deserve a seat at the table when discussing breast cancer research, her advice for oncologists, how family milestones are different for her, and how she uses humor to cope.


“On the one hand it terrifies me, on the other, I feel like I know more this time. I feel like I have more support this time, so it’s a little bit easier emotionally this time.”


“Oncologists: You want to give your patients something that’s going to be effective, but you also want to take into account their quality of life.”


“Having a seat at the table and educating scientists about the people behind the disease, benefits everyone.”

Family and Humor

“I try to instill the big life lessons to my girls now. I don’t know that they’re necessarily listening because they are teenagers, but I’m hoping it I am not around when they are older that some of that will stick with them.”