Meet a Survivor: Michele Kohorn

Blog post header with teal graphic background and "Michele Kohorn: Breast Cancer Survivor" title

The Rivkin Center aims to foster an ever-growing community of survivors, patients, researchers, clinicians, advocates, and supporters — all working together in the fight against ovarian and breast cancer.

Meet Michele, a breast cancer survivor and Rivkin Center education coordinator.


  1. Where are you from? I was born in Los Angeles, CA and grew up in Scottsdale, AZ.
  2. Where do you live now/what does a typical day look like for you? I live in Issaquah, WA. Hmmm… a typical day… getting my two teenage kids off to school, some form of exercise, checking my personal email and getting ready for work. I work part-time for the Rivkin Center, so some days I hop in the car and drive to the office and other days I work from home.
  3. What do you do for fun? I love going on trips, so I am always planning our next vacation (big or small). I also love to read, hike, cook/bake, and hang out with my family and friends.
  4. What is your favorite mantra? Be Kind
  5. What is your favorite drink? Iced Tea
  6. What advice would you give to your younger self? Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there more. Take more risks and get out of your comfort zone — make mistakes, you learn from them.
  7. What are you most proud of? My family. I am also pretty proud of taking ski lessons (after breaking my leg 7 years ago) and actually skiing down a run, and I even managed to enjoy myself.
  8. Where has been your favorite place to travel? That’s a tough one. Can I pick 3? Greek Islands, Costa Rica and Israel. I look forward to finding new favorite places too.
  9. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I like to play Mahjong.
  10. Where do you go to find inspiration? I think it depends on my mood… by the water, for a hike, books, family and/or friends.
  11. Who inspires you? This question is a tough one…I feel like so many people inspire me on a daily basis. My parents, husband, kids, friends, coworkers – really the list is a long one.


  1. What inspired you to get involved with Rivkin? Breast cancer runs in my family. I started yearly clinical breast exams in my early 20s and had a baseline mammogram starting at the age of 35. After being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40 and finding out that I have the BRCA 1 gene mutation, I felt it was really important to educate women. I love that the Rivkin Center’s education program talks about the importance of knowing your family health history, how to assess your risk, and knowing your body.
  2. If you have attended an educational party, what is your favorite memory? After some of our parties the attendees just wanted to give the survivor a hug and ask them some questions – I think the survivor story is so impactful.
  3. How can people help to support someone going through cancer? So many people process this differently so people show their support in different ways – a quick text to check in, cooking a dinner, inviting the family to your house for dinner, offering to give the kids a ride, going to a treatment to keep them company, just jumping in to help out and not incessantly asking what help is needed.
  4. What is the most important thing you want people to know about ovarian and breast cancer? Educate yourself. Know your body. Know the signs and symptoms of both ovarian and breast cancer. Know your family health history. Early detection does save lives.
  5. How many educational workshops have you hosted/attended? 30+


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