Meet a Survivor: Allisa Mensin

Blog header for Allisa

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

Meet Allisa, an ovarian cancer survivor and SummeRun participant.


  1. Where are you from? Born in Seattle and raised in Burien
  2. Where do you live now/what does a typical day look like for you? I now live in Auburn. My typical day is a typical 9-5 day, except I do four tens at a primary care clinic in Renton and off on Wednesdays! It’s super nice to work 2 days, have a quick break to run some errands and hang out with my dog and work another 2 days then the weekend!
  3. What do you do for fun? I love to do calligraphy! Mostly modern calligraphy with just a plain marker. I learned about 4 years ago for my cousin’s wedding and now have a small side business doing it for people, mostly brides!
  4. What is your favorite mantra? Eat well, travel often.
  5. What is your favorite drink? I love a good Moscow mule.
  6. What advice would you give to your younger self? Stop caring so much about what other people think and be your truest self. HAVE FUN.
  7. What are you most proud of? I am always proud of each calligraphy piece I do for people. I put my all into it and to see the outcome and the way it is used is amazing.
  8. Where has been your favorite place to travel? The most favorite place I have ever traveled to was to Italy with some of my closest friends on a school trip my sophomore year of high school. We got to see the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the food was absolutely AMAZING.
  9. What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? My ethnicity! 99.9% of the time, people guess that I am Filipino. I am actually full Cambodian. It gets to the point where Filipinos would randomly speak Tagalog or Ilocano to me.
  10. Where do you go to find inspiration? Everywhere. I find it at work when I’m working with patients, on the internet browsing around, and the people all around me.
  11. Who inspires you? My family inspires me. My parents and all my aunts, uncles, and grandparents survived the Khmer Rouge. In my eyes, they are definitely the strongest people I know.



  1. What inspired you to get involved with Rivkin? One night, I was on Instagram and saw that someone just completed a 5k supporting a cause and thought to myself, there HAS to be one for ovarian cancer. That is how I found the SummeRun! This was a couple of months into remission in 2015 and I have done the SummeRun every year since then.
  2. How can people help to support someone going through cancer? Just be there. The little things matter the most. No need for big gestures or huge gifts (We are too tired for all of that anyway, to be honest!). Just a little text/phone call checking in or a quick visit means the absolute world.
  3. What is the most important thing you want people to know about ovarian and breast cancer? Be aware. Know the signs and symptoms and if you know someone going through it, just be there for them. And it is okay to ask questions. For me anyway, I am 100% okay talking about what happened, how I found out, and everything about it.
  4. If you’ve participated in the SummeRun, what is your favorite memory? How many times have you run/walked? My favorite part of the SummeRun is the end when all of the survivors get on stage for a photo. It is so inspiring and beautiful seeing so many strong women who fought and are fighting. I have done the SummeRun every year since 2015 so this past run made it 5 years!



Whether you’re a cancer patient, survivor, loved one, or supporter, there are many ways to get involved and help end ovarian cancer. Consider signing up for the SummeRun or attend our annual Family & Friends Auction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *