Two-time breast cancer survivor transformed by Team Phoenix

Beth Bursten (top row, far right) poses with members of Team Phoenix 2013.

Beth Bursten (top row, far right) poses with members of Team Phoenix 2013.

Hello I am Beth Bursten, a member of the Talent Acquisition team for Aurora Health Care and two time breast cancer survivor.  October 2014 is a milestone for me in celebrating 20 years since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer diagnosis! In 2006, I was diagnosed again and had to face surgery and chemotherapy for a second time in my life. I continued to work and maintain a somewhat normal schedule/life during treatments and multiple surgeries… working in health care where else would I have wanted to be?  I am blessed to have wonderful life, filled with family, friends and co-workers who have supported me throughout the years. Thank you!

As a member of the Talent Acquisition team for Aurora Health Care, I’ve found my journeys in health care– as a patient– to be professionally enriching on many levels. It is wonderful to be able to offer this keen perspective when partnering with AHC hiring leaders to bring in top talent to care for our patients and family members. I try to draw examples from candidates that reflect how they have or helped others “live well.”

Another milestone was in 2013, completing a sprint triathlon after training with Dr. Judy Tjoe’s Team Phoenix program. Honestly, other than the birth of my children, Team Phoenix was one of the most life rewarding experiences on multiple levels. Emphasizing to me that once again, I could set mini goals, push through and build on that inner strength which once guided me through cancer diagnosis, surgeries and treatments.

Team Phoenix is also a part of local breast cancer research led by Aurora seeking to better understand mechanisms of how exercise improves survival after breast cancer. However for me, the greater most immediate benefit was the camaraderie, the support of the leaders, volunteers and trainers in the 14 week program as we trained for the sprint distance triathlon.

The experience connecting with other breast cancer survivors was more than empowering,  we were motivated by this chant which is a constant to us survivors:
“We are Strong. We are Proud. We are Alive. We are Redefined, as we are Team Phoenix.”


We salute Aurora caregivers like Beth! Thank you for sharing your story!

Support local breast cancer survivorship programs like Team Phoenix by giving to Aurora’s Pink Possible campaign, and select Team Phoenix in the fund designation box. Click here to learn more about Team Phoenix and how your gift can help local breast cancer survivors!

If you are a breast cancer survivor, share your story by commenting to this blog or emailing

This entry was posted in Caregivers Give Back, Thrive, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Two-time breast cancer survivor transformed by Team Phoenix

  1. ekdeluca says:

    I am a survivor of 25 years, diagnosed at 40, now 65. After my ordeal, I got married and adopted a child, now 14 years old. I am a Nursing professor at Lynchburg College in VA. Check out my blog “Putting Breast cancer in the Rear View Mirror.” Congratulations Beth!

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