Meet a CanCan Instructor: Kristin Anderson

The Rivkin Center’s Education Program

The Rivkin Center’s education program provides free health education workshops. Instructors educate women about their breast and ovarian health and cancer risks.

Say hello to Kristin Anderson, one of our instructors.


Where are you from? I grew up in Prior Lake, Minnesota (30 minutes south of the Twin Cities), and I moved to Minneapolis/St. Paul for college and graduate school.

Where do you live now? I live in Seattle, Washington.

What do you do for fun? I love lots of activities. My favorite thing to do is travel, but I also love reading, playing board games, watching TV, catching up with friends/family, playing and snuggling with my cats, and hiking.

What is your favorite mantra? Live your best life.

What is your favorite drink? Vanilla Latte

What advice would you give your younger self? Prioritize people and activities/commitments that make you happy and match your values. It is okay to say ‘no’.

What are you most proud of? In general, I’m really proud to be a parent. Our kids are so great, and I’m really enjoying getting to know them and watching them discover who they want to be as independent people. But in 2018 I had a really special year: in November, I won the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s Presidential Award. It is given to the young investigator with the most outstanding presentation at the society’s annual meeting — that was a pretty incredible feeling and a professional accomplishment that I’m really proud of.

Where is your favorite place to travel? I love to go places I have never been before, but some of my favorites so far have been Hawaii, Australia, and Croatia.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I am a huge TV nerd.

Where do you go to find inspiration? I find travel to be the most inspirational, but when I can’t do that, I like to read biographies and autobiographies. I find hearing other people’s stories incredibly inspiring.

Where’s your happy place? On the beach enjoying a cocktail with family/friends or at home on the couch in front of the fire with my husband and a good glass of wine.

Who is your role model/mentor? I have so many! My parents, my brother, my grandma, my aunts, my grad school and post-doc advisors (Drs. Dave Masopust and Phil Greenberg), and women in science who are doing an outstanding job, like Drs. Marion Pepper, Jenny Lund, Aude Chapuis, Kelly Paulson, Nina Salama, Garnet Anderson, and Julie McElrath (just to name a few I am lucky enough to get to work with).


What inspired you to get involved with CanCan? I felt under-informed about my personal cancer risk prior to my cancer diagnosis, and I want to be a resource for others so they can be informed and proactive about their health.

What is your favorite memory from a CanCan party? I always have a lot of fun when people play the games and ask lots of questions.

How can people help support someone going through cancer? I felt most supported just receiving an email, social media message or mail that let me know people were thinking about me and cared. Cancer sucks, and hearing from people made me feel less isolated throughout the whole process. I would also suggest offering something you are comfortable doing. For example, my friends made a meal calendar and someone from work, school, or my family brought me dinner every night the entire 6 months I was in treatment so I never had to cook.

What is the most important thing you want attendees to learn at a CanCan party? You are your own best advocate, and it’s okay to make yourself a priority, especially when it comes to your health.

How many CanCan parties have you hosted/attended? 20+

How many total attendees have you hosted? I lost count, but I’m sure it’s at least several hundred.

Do you have any events coming up? I’m planning to attend the Rivkin SummeRun. I do not have any parties scheduled at the moment, but I’m sure that will change soon. Also, I am climbing Kilimanjaro this summer to raise money for cancer research!


Want to learn more about becoming a CanCan instructor or facilitator? Share your story.

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