My battle with breast cancer and finding my Daily Greens

By: Shauna Martin

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Shauna Martin, Daily Greens CEO

I vividly recall sitting on the floor of my shower with water and tears streaming down my face trying to figure it all out. I could not stop thinking . . . why? Why me? What did I do wrong? On July 28, 2005, my son’s first birthday, I had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty-three.  My life was flashing before my eyes, as I struggled with the question of whether I was ready to die or not.

It did not take me long to conclude, that I was in fact not ready to die. 

I had a young child to live for! I knew I had to muster the strength to get out of the shower and take care of my family, but 9 months of chemotherapy and a year of surgeries to first remove my breasts and then reconstruct them had left me weak, bald and hopeless.  After all that I had been through my doctors told me I still had up to a 40% chance of a recurrence. I thought, how could that possibly be, after everything I had done to fight my cancer over the past two years?  I knew one thing for sure, I had to stay alive for my son, so I resolved to get up off the shower floor and do something about it.


I had heard that food could have powerful healing attributes, so I decided to investigate. I read everything I could get my hands on, and my journey lead me to understand that a plant-based diet filled with raw vegetables could not only help detox my body from all the toxins from my breast cancer treatment, but it could also potentially prevent a recurrence of my breast cancer. I was so excited to finally find something that would be under my control, so I went for it.

I read that the most efficient way to consume raw veggies was to juice them, so I ordered my first juicer and started making a green juice every day. The effects were immediate and undeniable. I immediately started to regain my energy and my former stamina. My hair grew back quickly, my skin and eyes started to glow.  I was blown away, so I studied further and determined that the right thing for me was to move to a fully plant-based diet.  This took several years of slowly eliminating animal protein from my diet, but when I finally got there the result was amazing. I am still fully vegan and plant based, 10 years later, and it enables me to be the best version of myself each and every day.

I was so enthusiastic about my newfound fountain of youth that I could not contain myself and started to evangelize my friends and family about the benefits of drinking a daily green juice and eating a more plant-based diet.  I had many converts over the years, but after several months most would put away their juicer and conclude that it was just too difficult to do on a daily basis.  I realized that if I was going to get folks to stick to a regime of drinking a daily green juice I was going to have to make it for them.

So after practicing corporate law for 18 years, I set out to research the technology needed to produce cold-pressed green juice on a massive scale. My mission and vision was to get a green juice into the hands of every American every single day.


At midnight one Friday night in December 2012 I made 60 bottles of green juice with the help of my cousin, and early the next morning I took it to the farmer’s market. It was a massive hit, and Daily Greens was born. Today, just 3 and a half years later, Daily Greens is nationally distributed in over 3,000 retail outlets in not only Whole Foods, Costco, Safeway, Kroger’s, Sprouts, but in dozens of other regional and independent retailers as well.

Shauna with juiceWhile I am so proud of everything that Daily Greens has accomplished, I am not about to forget my roots and the struggle that lead me to this place. Since inception, Daily Greens has donated 1% percent of sales directly to organizations like Komen Austin that provide support and services to young women battling breast cancer.

Eleven years later, I now know the answer to the “Why?”

I was meant to go on my breast cancer journey and struggle so that I could help bring a message of health and hope to America!

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I Race for My Community

By: Jennifer Felch, Komen Austin Board Member, Survivor

I am honored to become an official part of Komen Austin. I have been around the work of the Komen foundation for several decades – from experiencing the joy my mother felt as she walked with the other survivors in the Race for the Cure in the 90’s, to running in her honor, to running as a survivor with my very own family for the last several years. There is something special about the race and the incredible community it creates among survivors and our friends and family. It is both a celebration of success and a promise of more, as the funds generated from the event help those in our community and the broader goals of ending breast cancer.

While I had participated in the Race for the Cure for many years, it wasn’t until recently that I learned how these funds are put to use in our local community.  We are probably all familiar with the broader research that the Komen Foundation supports, and part of the fundraising goes towards this mission. However, the vast majority stays right here in central Texas.  In fact, 75 percent of the funds are invested in our local community – for education, screening, treatment, follow-up care, among other things.

As many of us know, cancer is not discriminating. It impacts us regardless of our economic situation, insurance coverage or access to quality medical care.  Komen Austin has invested more than $11 million since 1999 in providing breast health services and education in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties. These funds come entirely from fundraising efforts, and the Race for the Cure is the largest contributor. This is why it is so important that we not only participate in the event but that we also raise funds for our community.

I know that many of us are forced to make healthcare decisions based on what we can afford and that we rely on a variety of sources for information, if we have access.  The mission of Komen Austin is to ensure that we are all educated on our risks and what we can do about them, and that we all have access to screening, treatment, and follow up care for ourselves and our families.  It is incredible to see the difference a single organization, Komen Austin, can make on our local community and it is only possible through ongoing fundraising efforts.

5 Things to Remember When You’re Training for Race Day

Congratulations for registering for a 5k! Still haven’t registered for Komen’s 18th Annual Race for the Cure yet? Look no further and visit our website. 

Signing up for any race can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time running. Training in advance guarantees success for your first race. Here are five tips to keep in mind during your training. Good Luck and Go Pink!

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1. Find a community of runners

Running with another person is a great way to hold each other accountable for staying on track with your running schedule. Register with a friend so that you both are working toward a similar goal. Everyone runs at a different pace and trains differently, so make sure to find people that have a similar experience level as you and will keep you motivated throughout your training.

2. Make a plan: look up training schedules, be consistent with your training schedule

If this is your first 5k, it is especially important that you find the right training schedule. Hundreds of schedules are posted online and easy to find. Find one that you and your running buddy can commit to. For beginners, it’s important to start with walks and then gradually add short runs into your program. This will allow you to build your endurance and establish your pace. Print some copies of your running schedule and place it on your refrigerator, office space and bathroom mirror. I really like to have it as my phone screensaver so that my run is always on my mind.

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3. Find the perfect Race day outfit

A good pair of shoes is crucial for training and Race day. If you plan on buying a new pair of kicks, make sure to give yourself at least three weeks to break them in. Find an outfit that incorporates as much pink as possible and that you are comfortable running in. The more pink the better!

4. Make time for rest and cross training

As your body is adjusting to routine runs, it needs time to recover as well. Take advantage of the given rest days in your schedule. It’s also important to make room for other workouts throughout your training. Incorporating additional exercises will build up the muscle strength to prevent any injuries during runs.

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5. Positive thinking

Mental health can be just as important as physical health. During training, practice having a positive mindset throughout your run. When I start to feel the most tired, I visualize crossing the finish line and taking my triumphant picture holding my medal. I also like to think about the reason I am running. For Race for the Cure, I think about the struggle that people have gone through in their lives along with the pain they endured and how the pain of running right now does not compare to what they went through. A positive mindset has been proven to improve performance.

Best of luck on your 5k and thanks for registering to help end breast cancer forever.

Yours truly,

Laura Saker, Komen Austin Communications Intern

Breastfeeding Can Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Every year in August, people around the world celebrate and spread awareness about the many benefits of breastfeeding. The World Breastfeeding Week Organization highlights how breastfeeding is the “key to Sustainable Development” in various aspects of life.

Here are ways breastfeeding can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals according to the org:

  • Reduces poverty by providing a low-cost way of feeding babies and children
  • Improves health and wellbeing of mothers as well as improved development and survival of infants
  • Empowers mothers to feel supported by society to breastfeed optimally, leading to gender inequality
  • Saves water by providing all the water a baby needs in an eco-friendly way, while formula feeding requires access to clean water and sanitation
  • Reduces fossil fuels by less usage and production of formula
  • Increases likelihood of employers allowing mothers to breastfeed in the workplace or creating programs that are maternity sensitive

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we at Komen Austin want to highlight the benefits that breastfeeding has to offer. There are many lifestyle factors that can reduce the risk of breast cancer such as maintaining a healthy weight, eliminating alcohol intake and having children before the age of 30. What a lot of people may not know is that breastfeeding is also a factor in reducing the risk of breast cancer.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, breast tissue is shed causing potentially damaged cells to be removed. Research shows that a woman’s risk for breast cancer was reduced by 4.3% for every year that she breastfed, compared to mothers who did not breastfeed. The study also concluded that the longer the mother breastfed for, the lower her risk became. It should be noted that the time period spent breastfeeding could be with either one child or multiple children.

For more information about World Breastfeeding Week visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/.

For more information about breastfeeding and breast cancer risk visit https://ww5.komen.org/Breastcancer/Notbreastfeeding.html