Laura Holmes Haddad is a writer and speaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate of Smith College and the California Culinary Academy, Laura spent four years as an assistant cookbook editor at Simon & Schuster before starting a freelance career. Her freelance work focused on wine and food and she has co-authored numerous cookbooks and lifestyle titles.
Laura was diagnosed with Stage IV inflammatory breast cancer in 2012 at the age of 37 and is currently NED (no evidence of disease). As she transitioned from active patient to survivor, Laura began working as a patient advocate and speaker. She was asked to represent the patient perspective at the “Cancer Moonshot” Roundtable in March 2016 at University of California, San Francisco, where she spoke to Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden about her successful treatment, which hinged on a targeted therapy in a clinical drug trial. She also discussed the impact of the proposed health insurance changes on cancer patients at Congressman Jared Huffman’s Town Hall meeting in April 2017. Laura has spoken at a variety of events, including leadership conferences, cancer survivor and medical conferences, and cancer fundraisers. In addition, Laura works with the adolescent and young adult support group at UCSF and is developing a program for young adult cancer patients with children to address the issues that surround parenting while in treatment.
Laura has also participated in two media campaigns highlighting her successful cancer treatment. She was part of Blue Shield of California’s “Customer Care” campaign, where her story was captured on film and involved appearances at Blue Shield company events. Laura was also one of the patients selected for the UCSF campaign “Redefining Possible,” which included television, digital, and print ads.
As a writer, Laura set out to share all the details of her journey she learned along the way that she knew would help other patients and caregivers. The result is This is Cancer: Everything You Need to Know, from the Waiting Room to the Bedroom, published in October 2016 by Hachette Book Group/Seal Press and by Blackstone Audio. Big details (like second opinions, finances, and clinical drug trials) and seemingly small details (like parenting while in treatment, preparing for surgery, and coping with PTSD) are discussed from a patient’s perspective. This is Cancer has received positive reviews from patients, caregivers, and the medical community. Laura has an active book event schedule that includes book signings and events across the U.S. She is also a frequent guest blogger on several cancer and medical websites where she writes about various aspects of cancer treatment and survivorship and has been a guest on several podcasts.
Laura lives in Northern California with her husband, daughter, son, and a Dalmatian. For more information about Laura, please visit her website: lauraholmeshaddad.com.