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Emily Helck

YSC Summit Heads Home to Oakland

by Emily Helck, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager on February 08, 2017

Emily Helck
Senior Marketing and Communications Manager
[email protected]

New York City CEO returns to Oakland with the world’s largest event for young women with breast cancer

Oakland, CA (February 8, 2017) - Jennifer Merschdorf is more than just “from” Oakland. She’s a true native. Daughter of Oakland public school teacher Linda Merschdorf and local business owner Paul Merschdorf, Jennifer Merschdorf was born, educated, and got her start in the Bay Area, first following in her father’s advertising footsteps before finding her passion for philanthropy at the Sierra Club.

She’s currently CEO of Young Survival Coalition (YSC), an organization dedicated to young women affected by breast cancer. When the organization began hosting their national Summits for young women in 2015, Merschdorf knew she had to bring the YSC Summit to her hometown of Oakland.

The mission is a personal one for Merschdorf. In 2010, she learned she had breast cancer at age 36.

“I didn’t even realize that young women could get breast cancer when I was diagnosed,” shares Merschdorf. “The most important thing I did was find YSC and surround myself with other strong, amazing women facing the disease.”

More than 250,000 women living in the U.S. today were diagnosed with breast cancer before their 41st birthday. Approximately 13,000 young women will be diagnosed this year alone.

Even with a cancer diagnosis, Merschdorf kept pushing forward in her career. Nine months after being diagnosed and still in treatment, Merschdorf was hired as YSC’s CEO in 2011.

“YSC is the largest nonprofit in the country that focuses only on young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer,” says Merschdorf. “ It’s an honor to be the woman running such an important social profit company that exists only to serve other women.”

In this leadership position, Jennifer constantly travels the country to meet other young survivors, doctors and researchers working on breast cancer. However, Jennifer always has had her eye on bringing YSC’s largest program, the YSC Summit, back home to the Bay Area.

The YSC Summit event is the largest gathering of young women and their co-survivors (spouses, partners, family and friends) that exists in the world. The event inspires and connects young women, and their co-survivors, who are facing breast cancer.

The three-day Summit event features inspirational speakers, educational workshops and wellness activities addressing the unique issues that young women with breast cancer face. Participants will have access to the most current, evidence-based information to make decisions about their health care. A key component is the opportunity to network with a community of other young survivors and co-survivors from across the country.

While Merschdorf and her husband currently live in Queens, NY and have a home in the Hudson Valley, she considers herself still to be a local of the Bay Area, and is demonstrating her commitment to Oakland by hosting the YSC Summit at the Oakland Marriott City Center on March 10-12, 2017.

“This event is about ensuring that every young woman facing breast cancer, in the Bay Area and across the country, knows about YSC and knows that she is not alone,” says Merschdorf.

Merschdorf knows first-hand that the emotional and medical concerns of young breast cancer survivors are different than those of women over age 40, which is why she feels a conference like the YSC Summit is so important.

Register now:

When: March 10 - 12, 2017
Where: Oakland Marriott City Center, Oakland, CA
Cost: The registration fee is $175. Registration fee waivers and fundraising options are available to offset expenses.

Onsite registration is welcome.

For more details, including the full lineup of workshops and speakers, visit or call 877.972.1011.

This conference is generously supported by presenting sponsors Avon Foundation for Women, Celgene, Eisai, and Genentech.

About Young Survival Coalition (YSC) ®

Established in 1998, Young Survival Coalition (YSC) is the premier organization dedicated to young women with breast cancer. Founded by three young survivors, YSC began as a grassroots organization to advocate on behalf of all young women diagnosed with breast cancer to increase their length and quality of life. Based in New York City, with networks nationwide, YSC provides free resources, connections and educational materials so young women with breast cancer feel supported, empowered and hopeful. YSC seeks to educate and influence the medical, research and legislative communities to address breast cancer in young women, and to ensure that no young woman faces breast cancer alone. For more information, visit Follow conference updates at #YSCSummit17.