Knowledge is power. That’s the motto that Kristi Blair, breast cancer advocate, has taken as her own. Kristi first began looking into the disease when her mother, Karen Denmark, was diagnosed; later, she created the Wings of Karen foundation to support breast cancer research.

“Cancer has hit our family hard,” says Kristi. But Kristi — diagnosed with breast cancer herself at 35 — has found hope in the work of the UW Medicine Cancer Vaccine Institute (CVI). Led by Nora Disis, M.D., the institute is developing vaccines in an effort to avoid cancer recurrence — even prevent it altogether.

Making cancer treatable, even avoidable: that’s what Kristi, a mother of five, wants, too. And she and Disis hope it might happen over the next decade.

“I have an intimate understanding of what it feels like to be in the trenches,” Kristi says. “And it makes me want to do more to eliminate cancer for everyone.”

Watch Kristi’s inspiring story

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