Meet The Board2024-02-23T18:13:57+05:00

Meet The Board

Meet The Board

Tracy Milgram

Tracy Milgram-Posner founded BRCAStrong in 2015 after fighting alone for over 10 years against her BRCA2 genetic mutation. Tracy underwent two separate benign lumpectomies at 18- and 19-years-old before being officially told she carried the BRCA2 mutation in 2004 at 21 years-old.

When her doctors informed her in 2015 that she had an 85% risk of developing breast cancer, and a 30% chance of developing ovarian cancer, Tracy underwent a robotic, total hysterectomy. Six months later, she had a prophylactic double mastectomy.

Tracy aims to inspire others by sharing her journey and encouraging others to do the same. “I think we all experience some level of self-doubt and physical insecurities after breast or reproductive surgery and/or treatment – regardless of BRCA involvement. In a way, BRCA2 took away my womanhood – and there are too many more women out there facing challenges similar to mine. But though similar, all our experiences are different, and I hope that BRCAStrong provides a safe space to share and inspire each other.”

As she dealt with the physical and emotional effects of these aggressive procedures, Tracy saw a need for an inclusive community that would allow her and others to connect, share tips and stories and offer advice on everything from post-surgery dating to clinical side effects and mental health.

Dr. Alexea – Medical Director

Dr. Alexea is a triple-board certified Infectious Disease sub-specialist, Internist and Pediatrician. She is, above and beyond this, a mother, speaker, author and cancer health and wellness coach. Dr. Alexea invited the world into her life when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 37. She publicly shared her journey through social media as she underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy for her breast cancer treatment. Cancer has transformed her life and her worldview and she has been healing and transforming herself and others through her speaking, teaching and writing.

Dr. Alexea also utilizes advocacy via conferences, community engagement and social media to educate women with breast cancer and at risk communities about wellness lifestyle, disease prevention and management. She is a firm believer in what she calls the “Treat, Eat, Drink and Think” approach to cancer care and healing. She has utilized her social media platforms @DrAlexea (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to share her medical motivation, healthy influence as well as her cancer journey.

Here she not only gives glimpses and insights of her life with breast cancer but also shares the story of her cancer treatment, survival and how she thrives and helps her family and daughter cope with her treatment.

She utilizes these platforms to give hope and encouragement to Breast cancer survivors and their families through and beyond the treatment process. During cancer treatment Dr. Alexea recognized that there was not a lot of information that catered to Black women experiencing Breast Cancer. She also recognized that there was a lack of information about managing side effects naturally or holistically, limited information on the role of Healthy lifestyle and importance of wellness in cancer care and treatment. She was keenly aware of the great deal of misinformation about cancer and cancer treatments and chose to utilize her clinical expertise as well as patient experiences to help educate and advocate for women experiencing and at risk for Breast Cancer.

As an Infectious Disease Physician she was incredibly fearful of developing surgical sites infection or during chemotherapy. She developed strategies and educational tools to help decrease infections and boost the immune system during and after chemo. This led to the creation and production of the Warrior Wellness and Nutrition Supplements line.

Dr. Alexea’s passion and purpose is to create healing pathways to help others achieve total health and wellness, mind, body and spirit.

Dr. Alexea serves as the Medical Director for BRCAstrong; a nonprofit serving women with and at risk for Breast and gynecological cancers. She has partnered with Touch Black Breast Cancer Alliance to encourage Black women’s participation in clinical trials. She previously served as an ambassador for For The Breast of Us; the first Breast cancer community for women of color.

Dr. Alexea graduated from Fisk University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2002. She received her Medical Doctorate at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY in 2007. She completed a Combined Internal Medicine and Pediatrics Residency Training Program and Infectious Disease Fellowship at SUNY Stony Brook Medical Center in Stony Brook, NY in June of 2011 and June 2013, respectively. As a voluntary academic faculty, she holds the rank of Clinical Assistant Professor within the Department of Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases at Stony Brook Medicine. She currently practices at Stony Brook Medical Associates, in Stony Brook, NY.

Dr. John P. Diaz, M.D. – Medical Gynecological Cancer Director

John P. Diaz, M.D., is a board-certified gynecologic oncologist at Miami Cancer Institute. Dr. Diaz provides comprehensive and compassionate gynecologic cancer care for women with endometrial, ovarian, cervical, vaginal or vulvar cancer. He has extensive training and experience in robotic and minimally invasive surgery, which results in shorter hospital stays and faster recovery times for patients. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Dr. Diaz completed his gynecologic oncology fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York and received the Department of Surgery Chairman’s Award. He currently serves as an associate professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Florida International University.

As director of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, Dr. Diaz leads the only Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery in South Florida. There, he and his colleagues perform thousands of robotic surgeries each year. Passionate about furthering the field of gynecologic oncology, Dr. Diaz leads Miami Cancer Institute’s gynecologic oncology research and clinical trials program. This program offers innovative treatments and advanced technologies to women in South Florida.

His research interests include novel surgical techniques for ovarian cancer and innovative cancer therapies, including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy and immunotherapy. In 2019, Dr. Diaz was awarded a $1.8 million grant to investigate immunotherapy and PARP inhibitors for cervical cancer treatment.

Dr. Diaz’s research has been published in numerous peer-reviewed medical journals, such as Oncology, Gynecologic Oncology, the Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Gynecologic Oncology Reports. He is also a reviewer for Gynecologic Oncology, BioMed Cancer, International Journal of Gynecologic Oncology and the Annals of Surgical Oncology.

He has been an invited speaker and presented his research nationally and internationally at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, International Gynecologic Cancer Society and many others. Dr. Diaz also holds many leadership and committee positions within various organizations, including the Society of Gynecologic Oncology and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

He takes a holistic, multidisciplinary approach to patient care. Dr. Diaz is with his patients through every step of their treatment process, from diagnosis to surgery to chemotherapy to follow-up care. He takes the time to listen to each patient’s questions and goals and works closely with them to develop a tailored treatment plan.

Dr. Diaz also encourages his patients to take advantage of Miami Cancer Institute’s nutrition, physical therapy and mental wellness programs to maximize their quality of life during their cancer journey. When he is not treating patients, Dr. Diaz enjoys spending time with his family and participating in outdoor activities, including white water rafting, skiing and boating.

Mary Glasse

My name is Mary Glasse. I am a daughter, wife, mom,  friend, cncr survivor. I found I had breast cncr in 2019. Fortunately, because of it, I joined a support group that lead me to BRCASTRONG. A photoshoot that had women of every walk of life and at the same time fighting cncr. I didn’t feel alone.
I promised Tracy that day I will help her with anything she needed. Here we are almost 5 yrs. later and I am on the board of this organization I trust and admire. BRCASTRONG still helps me today. Helping other women helps me heal mentally and emotionally. We are here to help you and support you in any way because we understand the road you are taking.
By the way,  I didn’t misspell cncr. I don’t respect it enough to write its full name.

Ashley Valdes

Ashley Valdes is a dedicated professional advocate committed to assisting individuals on their healthcare journeys, particularly those affected by breast cancer, with a wealth of experience spanning over 15 years.

Her extensive knowledge of insurance procedures and unwavering commitment to staying informed about the latest developments in the field make her an invaluable resource for those seeking advocacy.

Beyond her professional life, Ashley’s commitment to making a positive impact is evident. Raised in a family actively involved in community activities, she inherited a strong sense of civic responsibility. This upbringing instilled in Ashley a profound appreciation for community engagement and the significance of giving back.

Motivated by her daughter, Alissa Marie, Ashley is inspired to educate and support women navigating the complexities of breast cancer. Recognizing the importance of providing valuable resources, information, and emotional support, Ashley’s compassion and empathy drive her to go above and beyond in empowering and uplifting breast cancer patients throughout their journeys.

Continuing to work tirelessly, Ashley ensures that patients receive the care and support they deserve. Her dedication, expertise, and commitment to community service make her a genuine advocate for those affected by breast cancer, embodying the qualities of a compassionate healthcare professional and serving as a beacon of hope.

To contact Ashley, please feel free to email her at Ashley@Brcastrong.Org

Beth Block Guendjoian

On January 30, 1998, I received the life-altering diagnosis of lobular breast cancer, Stage II. Detecting the lump myself was crucial. Just a week later, on February 6, 1998, I underwent a double mastectomy. However, my journey took another turn in May of that same year when I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer with bone metastases. Determined to fight, I joined a Herceptin trial in August 1998, and the subsequent years have been a testament to resilience. Now, 26 years later and still counting UP, I stand as a survivor/thriver. Though I don’t carry a genetic predisposition, many of my friends do. This fuels my passion for supporting the breast cancer community, striving to save lives and make a meaningful difference. I wholeheartedly embrace the values of BRCASTRONG and am dedicated to its cause.

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January 25th, 2024|

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