In December 2023, I was honored to be featured in Bold Journey, a magazine which spotlights women who live boldly and take risks.  Here is what the magazine has to say:

“Living life boldly means exposing yourself to all sorts of risk – risk of loss, risk of criticism and judgement, risk of mental, emotional, or physical distress.  It’s no wonder, so many of us are raised to not live boldly, to not take risks, to not push ourselves to reach our highest potential.  “

Hi Melanie, we’re so appreciative of you taking the time to share your nuggets of wisdom with our community. One of the topics we think is most important for folks looking to level up their lives is building up their self-confidence and self-esteem. Can you share how you developed your confidence?

MY:  I was an only child with parents who believed in me and put me on a pedestal. My parents encouraged me to embrace my individuality, creativity and potential. At age 18, I read Dr. Wayne Dwyer’s book, “Your Erroneous Zones.” Dr Dwyer’s message was that your Self Worth in your True Worth and “Not One Person’s Opinion of You is Half as Important as the One You Hold of Your Own Self.” I ended up writing my senior chapel talk based on my inspiration from this book. What I learned from both this books and from my parents is this: “Why be a copy of other people when you can be Your Own Original You?”

Read more here:


My article on BRCA genetic testing attracted alot of interest. Here’s my interview with radio host, Guy Wehman, “Sun Coast Live,”” WENG Radio  1530AM / 107.5FM, Englewood, FL March 30, 2015  Listen:

AMOENA LIFE- PAGE 1 - WINTER 2015Than you Amoena Life for this great profile!

Thrilled to be profiled in the Spring 2015 edition of Amoena Life. Thanks to Editor Lee Thrash and to the folks at Amoena, celebrating its 40th anniversary, for helping women with breast cancer stay fearless and fabulous!  Clear here to read the magazine and article:


In the Winter 2015 edition of Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine I wrote a four page article addressing the question, “Did my diet and lifestyle lead to my breast cancer?” My professional life as a culinary events and PR agency owner was delicious and decadent, but it was also stressing my body and I was not taking time exercise, relax and eat a balanced diet between traveling, planning events and running a business. I believe maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help reduce your risk of disease or chance of recurrence. That said, I decided to undergo genetic testing in 2010 and results confirmed I carry the BRCA2 genetic mutation. Today, I maintain a healthier diet but i don;t give up the foods or wines love; I just enjoy them in moderation and go for the best quality possible!

This is a four page article written by Yours Truly. Here is the link: Thank you Publisher Beverly Vote for reaching out and for all you do to support and educate women about breast cancer.


Winter 2015 

My good friend Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancerchats with me about staying healthy, fearless and fabulous in this podcast from Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine ‘s Inspire Show. Listen to the podcast here:


March 9, 2015: Writer Joan Brunwasser conducts an extensive interview with me on “turning lemons into lemonade.” I think I am going to open my own “lemon-aid” stand!

Author, Advocate, Life Coach, Breast Cancer Survivor, Melanie Young

My guest today is author, business woman, and breast cancer survivor, Melanie Young. Welcome to OpEdNews, Melanie. A number of years ago, you started a blog which you called Getting Things Off My Chest. Why?

Getting Things Off My Chest started as a blog to open up about my breast cancer, share my experience to help others and find my voice doing something that brings me pleasure: writing.

I was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in August 2009 after discovering a lump in my left breast during a self-examination. At the time, I was on a business trip in Italy. The same month, my beloved father and business advisor, Mel Young, was admitted to hospice with metastasized prostate cancer that had crept into his brain. I’m an only child. I cannot imagine the pressure on my mother to care for a dying husband of 52 years in Chattanooga and a daughter facing a double mastectomy in New York City.


Read the full article here:


David Ransom and Melanie Young with WRCB-TV 3PlusYou Host Jed Mescon

David Ransom and Melanie Young with WRCB-TV 3PlusYou Host Jed Mescon

December 12, 2014, WTVC.Channel 9 “ThisNThat”

I discuss my new book, Fearless Fabulous You! Lessons on Living Life on Your Terms on “ThisNThat” on NewsChannel9

August 27, 2014- WRCB-TV’s PlusYou, Chattanooga, TN

David Ransom and I announce the launch of The Connected Table® Live, an international radio show bringing up close with the people and places in the world of food, beverage and hospitality. Join us live Wednesdays at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT at W4CY Radio.  (Starting September 17)/ Shows will be posted online on  at and later on demand at IHeart Radio.

W4CY Radio is one of the top ranked internet radio stations in the world presented by Talk 4 Media and Talk 4 Radio with listeners in all 50 states and in all 197 countries.

Link to 3PlusYou segment:


Delighted to be featured in the Spring edition of Pain Pathways

WRCB dec 20

December 20, 2013 WRCB-TV “3 Plus You” Chattanooga, TN

Sharing my tips on staying healthy with host Jed Mescon.


Tickled Pink to be featured in the December issue of the online magazine The Plum with an excerpt from Getting Things Off My Chest. Read more:


modern luxury photo

Author and guest speaker Melanie Young and Cissy Rives

Atlanta survivors and supporters gathered at the stately Piedmont Driving Club to celebrate the courageous women who’ve shared their experiences as part of Pink Ribbon Stories. The Pink Ribbon Story Foundation Founders Gala featured a silent auction that included autographed sports memorabilia, designer handbags, paintings and more, followed by a seated dinner of salmon, steak, veggies and wine. After dinner, a live auction took place that got more than half the guests on their feet. Another hit of the night was a fantastic flipbook photo booth. Supporters sipped Champagne and cocktails as they celebrated PRSF’s mission to create the country’s leading online library of video narratives of breast cancer survivors. Photography by Joey Wallace.

Link to artIcle:


December 5, 2013

City Beat: Melanie Young honored for her book on breast cancer by Barry Courter

Melanie Young, a Girls Preparatory School graduate and the daughter of Sonia “The Purple Lady” Young and the late Mel Young, was named one of three honorees in the 2013 HandCraft Heroes Breast Cancer Campaign.

Young, a public relations specialist in New York, was honored for her book, “Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide To Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer.” Young, who served as a caregiver in 2007 for a close friend who was diagnosed and later died from breast cancer, was diagnosed herself in 2009. She said she had always wanted to write a book but was always “too busy.” Her experiences caused her to view things differently.

“When I was diagnosed, I thought, ‘OK, stop saying I’m too busy and do this,’ but I also wanted to convey something positive that could help people.”

The award is presented in honor of Cheryl Indelicato, a third-generation California vintner and proprietor of HandCraft Artisan Collection Wines. She is a 20-year breast cancer survivor. The other two honorees were Stacy Cumberbatch of San Francisco and Diane Lyons of New Orleans. Cumberbatch initiated The Pink Gown Fashion Show in the Bay Area. Lyons is the founder of two New Orleans fundraisers, Festi-gals and Bodacious Bras for a Cause.

Continue reading here:


November 2013


Jewish Book Month
In 2009, Chattanooga native Melanie Young took an unexpected detour from her wine and food marketing business into what she called “Cancer Land.” She emerged with a reworking of many aspects of her life, and a new book aimed at helping women navigate breast cancer.

Full article:

today healthFrance 2010

October 19, 2013

Diane Mapes, Contributor to, interviews Melanie on why she decided to keep her cancer diagnosis a secret in her professional world.

“I didn’t want my clients to perceive me as incapacitated and jump ship,” says Melanie Young, a 54-year-old breast cancer survivor who ran a Manhattan public relations firm at the time of her diagnosis. “I needed to earn a steady income to pay the bills which piled up during treatment.”

Young told her immediate family, her friends and her staff, but didn’t share her 2009 diagnosis, double mastectomy, reconstruction or even chemotherapy with a single client or colleague……


October 16, 2013


Melanie shares her Fearless and Fabulous Mojo on the nationally syndicated TV show  “Emotional Mojo.

Says Co-Host Jada Jackson: “You’ve totally reframed cancer and made it into something where you can live your life and just really experience every moment.” Right on, Jada!


October 16, 2013

For National BRA Day Melanie discusses the importance of taking charge of your cancer diagnosis with Jessica Reyes, host of the nationally syndicated TV show “Daily Buzz.”


Oct 16, 2013

We had the pleasure of having Cancer Survivor and author, Melanie Young, on the show to talk about Breast Cancer Awareness and to Celebrate National Bra Day!

Melanie Young took an unexpected detour in 2009 to a place she refers to as “Cancer Land.” She has written a witty guidebook filled with tips and insights to help newly diagnosed women navigate their journey called: “Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide To Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer.”

gem-logo-newGood Enough Mother

October 5, 2013 – Melanie shares her survivor story with write Jackie Gaily in Rene Syler’s blog, Good Enough Mother

1. How did you first find out you had cancer?

I found a lump in my left breast on a business trip to Tuscany in late July 2009. My mammogram, nine months earlier was clean. There was no history of breast cancer in my family. Tests in early August confirmed I had two tumors in my left breast and one in my right, all positive carcinomas.

2. How did you react when you heard the news?

It was like someone had punched me in the chest. When I first realized I had three tumors and not just one was during my core biopsy even before the confirmed diagnosis. I left the radiology center and burst into tears in the middle of Madison Avenue in Manhattan. When my Ob/GYN called with the news that the tumors tested positive I went numb.

– See more at:

1. How did you first find out you had cancer?

I found a lump in my left breast on a business trip to Tuscany in late July 2009. My mammogram, nine months earlier was clean. There was no history of breast cancer in my family. Tests in early August confirmed I had two tumors in my left breast and one in my right, all positive carcinomas.

2. How did you react when you heard the news?

It was like someone had punched me in the chest. When I first realized I had three tumors and not just one was during my core biopsy even before the confirmed diagnosis. I left the radiology center and burst into tears in the middle of Madison Avenue in Manhattan. When my Ob/GYN called with the news that the tumors tested positive I went numb.

– See more at:

LA Splash

SECOND ADDITION COVER FOR Getting Things Off with Awards

Oct 2013

It’s nice to be included in LA Splash’s Breast Cancer Awareness Gift Guide, and my book is one of the more affordable items on the list!

Staying Fearless & Fabulous In The Face Of Breast Cancer

Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide to Staying Fearless & Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer

Description: “To heck with it! Let’s just meet and check out each other’s breasts!”… And that is how I ended up topless in a bathroom at Memorial Sloan-Kettering feeling another woman’s breasts in the middle of the afternoon.” For a topic as serious as cancer, Melanie Young knows how to keep a sense of humor. Written with a comical yet uplifting approach, Getting Things off my Chest: A Survivor’s Guide to Staying Fearless & Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer is filled with essential information and insightful stories that serve as a mentor for those battling breast cancer. Melanie Young was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts in August 2009. Young’s battle consisted of a double mastectomy with reconstruction, five months of chemo, genetic testing and a prophylactic surgery in which her ovaries and fallopian tubes were removed. All throughout her fight/road to recovery she continued to run her own food and wine marketing and special events business, reshape her life, write her survivor’s guide and help change the lives of others fighting the same battle. Who said you still can’t have it all when you have cancer?

Price: $16.99 Visit the Website



Thanks to my friends at Blush Magazine, Getting Things Off My Chest was featured in the October issue with a book give away.



Two writers, two approaches to cancer

by Jessica Mosier Columbia-Greene

CATSKILL — Cancer is a scary word. Almost everyone knows someone who has it, survived it, or died from it.

The Greene County Council on the Arts brought together two women writers to share their very different personal journeys with cancer on Saturday afternoon.

Author, blogger and journalist Debby Meyer read from her chronicle, “Riptides & Solaces Unforeseen,” which tells the story of the “fast-onset brain cancer that led to her husband’s death at the age of fifty-six.”

Businesswoman and author Melanie Young read excerpts from her recently published book, “Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide to Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer.” Her book is described as a “health-nutrition-beauty-cancer management 101 for women who don’t want to be confined or defined by their diagnosis and who want to make smart decisions about managing their well-being.”

To continue reading click here:

Melanie Young spoke to the students at GPS on Tuesday. Tuesday, August 20, 2013

GPS Alum Author Gives Advice To Students
Melanie Young spoke to the students at GPS on Tuesday.

Being named “Most Likely to Succeed” by her fellow seniors in the GPS class of 1977 was a daunting challenge, according to Melanie Young. She went right to Atlanta after college and then to New York City, determined to be the successful woman her classmates envisioned her to be. Her public relations company in the food and beverage industry, which she ran for 20 years, was successful, and she credits her GPS teachers with her writing skills that contributed to that success. However, she believes that stress from her career, a sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy eating were responsible for the diagnosis of breast cancer that she got in 2009.  Click here to read more: June 5, 2013, Lifestyle

Melanie Young’s lessons from breast cancer

By Maggie Behringer
Published Wednesday, June 5th 2013

One woman’s loss is another woman’s gain, or in the case of Chattanooga native Melanie Young’s book chronicling her breast cancer experience, one woman’s loss is a gain for so many women.

Young penned “Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide to Staying Fearless and Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer,” which is due to be released by Cedar Fort Publishing in September. Read rest of article:

Dr. Alan Greene has had a thriving pediatric practice in San Mateo, California since 1995. He is also author of “Toddler Mood Management: Easy Tips for Turning the Terrible Twos in the Terrific Twos” Ebook.

I was invited to guest blog at the week of June 24. It was fun to share my insights with moms. Here are links to my five posts:

June 24, 2013

BRCA Testing

The Supreme Court Decision on BRCA Testing: It’s Significance for Women

On June 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that companies cannot patent naturally occurring human genes. This landmark ruling is a giant step forward for women’s health because it breaks down barriers and opens doors for more accessible and affordable testing for the BRCA gene mutation.

Why Is BRCA genetic testing important?

We all carry BRCA1 and BRCA2, both naturally occurring human genes. However, a BRCA mutation, or abnormalcy, can lead to specific cancers. In women these include breast and ovarian cancer. While not all cancers are linked to the BRCA mutation, some women have greater risks.

If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer there could be a link to the BRCA gene mutation. The mutation is also more common in women of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage. While my family had no history of breast cancer, my father and grandfathers had prostate cancer and my grandmother had pancreatic cancer, both linked to BRCA gene mutation.

Read more here:

June 25, 2013

The Hardest News to Share

The only thing worse than having a doctor tell you that you have been diagnosed with cancer is telling your children. Just saying the words, “I have cancer” can make you choke. It took me two years to say the words without a struggle.

So how do you share the news calmly to the most precious people in your life?

Think age appropriate when you share the news. A younger child will digest the news differently from a pre-teen or teenager. You may choose to gather the family in a room together or tell each child separately.

Use language they can easily understand and keep the medical explanations simple. Let them know that everyone is a “team” and we are going to win the battle. Tell them you have a great medical team on your side to treat you.

Speak in a calm and reassuring manner. Practice in front of the mirror. It helps to have your spouse or partner with you when you break the news.

Tell them how much you need and value their support and that you will still and always be there for them. It will be a challenge to face and important to plan, prepare and allow for a little down time but never “away time” from their needs.

Allow time to answer their questions. If you are met with their silence, give them a chance to digest the information quietly and tell them you are available to talk at anytime..

Read more at:

June 26, 2013

Meals and Nutrition

Making Meals and Nutrition a Family Affair

Children learn from their parents. If you want your kids to eat responsibly take a look at what you are putting on your own plate. Make smart food choices a family affair and make it fun for everyone at the same time. Show by example that sensible eating is both a necessity and a pleasure.

Teach Farm to Table

Take your kids to farmers markets to learn about where food is grown. One of my favorite family outings in the summer was to the weekly farmers’ market to select fresh peaches, strawberries, green beans, summer tomatoes and just picked corn, some of my favorite foods today,

If you don’t live in near a farming community, or if your city does not offer farmers markets, buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the supermarket rather than canned. Post a calendar in the kitchen showing when fruits and vegetables are in season so your kids can learn when plant foods are at their freshest.

Read more by clicking here:

June 27, 2013

Ten for Yourself

Take Ten for Yourself

A friend of mine complained about how overwhelmed she was at work and how she felt stressed and tired. She is self–employed like me, and sometimes I think you work even harder and longer hours when you work for yourself. I responded, “Give yourself a ten minute break each hour.”

Put Time on Your Side

There never seems to be enough time in the day when you are juggling family, work, community and social commitments, finances and myriad other activities that comprise your schedule. A friend taught me long ago to stop spending all my time on others and start saving time for myself. I took her advice and added a little “me time” every day.

It made a difference on my stress level. “Me time” can be a workout, getting your nails, visiting a friend, baking a cake or meditating…whatever it takes to make you unwind. It’s not being selfish; it’s taking care of your self. No one wants a stressed out parent or spouse, and you want to stay healthy for yourself and your loved ones.

“Me time” can be whatever time you can afford spend on yourself. But you have to make the time. If you don’t have an hour for the gym, take 15 to 30 minutes to stretch and exercise at home. Try taking ten minute breaks during the day to get up and recharge. A brisk walk outside will clear your head and rev up your energy at minimal cost.

June 28, 2013

Medical Checklist

Your Medical Checklist: What You Need To Know

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer I learned the importance of maintaining a medical checklist. I also learned how little I really knew about my health records and family history. I had to collect information quickly and document each step of treatment and medication.

This information is now carefully filed, and I have told my husband where to locate the information. Each time I visit a doctor and am asked to update my records I am better prepared. I learned that keeping medical records updated for each family member is important, especially when an emergency or major illness occurs.

What you need to record

Compile a permanent medical dossier for yourself and your children be prepared to bring it to doctors’ visits. Here is a list:

  • A record of all allergies (environmental, food, medications, materials like latex)
  • List of current medications, dosages and frequency taken
  • Vitamins or supplements taken and dosages
  • History of illnesses and surgeries and dates they occurred
  • Family history of major illnesses

Read more by clicking here:

LHJ Logo

Melanie Young LHJ October 2012

Melanie Young, Age 53

October 2012

What It’s Like to Have Breast Cancer

I hunkered down and did six months of chemo. You really have to focus on nutrition. I overhauled my diet: no red meat, no dairy, no fatty foods, no alcohol. I lost 20 pounds, and it’s funny: People told me I looked fabulous! They said my skin was glowing and asked if I’d had work done.

Link to article: