After spending eight years in advertising in New York City, Aimee Bariteau decided to follow her dream and attend culinary school. She worked full-time while taking cooking classes at night, but when she finally quit her job to focus on her passion, life served her something she could've never imagined.
Being adopted from Korea, she wasn't aware of her family's medical history, and at the age of 31 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She quickly underwent a bilateral mastectomy, TRAM-flap reconstruction, chemotherapy, and radiation treatment. She has now been cancer-free for five years and although she decided not to become a chef because of the lack of lymph nodes in her left arm, she continues to cook (even co-hosting a supper club in Brooklyn for three years), ran her first half marathon, learned pottery, and volunteers at the Young Survival Coalition.
Bariteau is so thankful for the support of her family and husband—she encourages anyone going through something like this to "Take time for yourself, do what you need to do and build a support circle. Surround yourself with people who will love you and be there for you."