As a two-time ovarian cancer survivor, Lezin knows what it is like to hear the words “I don’t know how to tell you this.”  She also has the BRCA-1 mutation (the one thing she has in common with Angelina Jolie) which necessitated additional surgeries and medical interventions.  Throughout her cancer journey, Lezin has made lemonade out of her cancer lemons and found the silver linings and upside of facing the Big C.  She has traveled the country extensively as a patient advocate and motivational speaker and done book signings and readings for her books chronicling her journey (But I Just Grew Out My Bangs, a cancer memoir and The ABCs of the Big C, a book of tips and encouraging anecdotes for those facing cancer).  Lezin speaks about the lessons that can be learned in finding the positives and in choosing to laugh rather than cry, lessons that apply far beyond a cancer diagnosis.

Lezin has degrees from Brown University and Georgetown University Law Center and has worked professionally as an attorney, a consultant, college advisor and writer. She is a mother of three grown children and is a competitive Scrabble player, avid cook and grew up living all over the world. She is also a fierce optimist who faces each day – and every presentation – with positivity and humor.


Watch clips of Katya sharing her story in a variety of different forums and to assorted audiences as well as through interviews.

Moth Radio Hour Ovarian Cancer Stories
The World Café – Philadelphia, PA
September 2018

NSGC (National Society of Genetic Counselors) Annual Conference
Chicago, IL
October 2023

Myriad Genetics My Risk Story about having the BRCA-1 mutation
December 2021

CBS News story about ovarian Cancer
October 2023

Epic Patient Oncology Experience Guest Speaker
Video credit: Epic


Katya’s ability to connect with an audience through her humor, authenticity and realness is like nothing I have ever seen before!  Once her presentation is over it is like you have known her your whole life and what she is talking about connects right to your soul and heart!

Jennifer Gamberdella, Senior National Account Manager, Myriad Genetics

Katya’s presentations always elicit belly laughter and heartfelt tears and standing ovations. She evokes inspiration and hope. Audience members leave her presentations inspired to uncover all possibilities, seek to learn and insist on answers for the best possible path forward.

Carolyn Horn Dumond, Patient Resource Coordinator, Huntsman Cancer Insititute

Katya Lezin spoke with such grace and humor and endless energy that it wrapped us all up in laughter, hope, and understanding.  I laughed until I cried and then I cried some more.

Susanne McIvenna , Patient Navigator, Massachusetts General Hospital

Ms. Lezin is a gifted communicator and teacher who has become a regular presenter during our orientation for medical students and medical residents.

Iris Cheng, MD FACP, Professor of Medicine, Carolinas HealthCare System, UNC School of Medicine Charlotte Campus

Katya Lezin was both inspiring and authentic.

Joyce Monaco, Director, Marketing & Communications, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Inc.

Anyone who has the chance to hear Katya tell her story should run – not walk – to do so. She shines as a patient advocate, masterfully walking an audience through her health journey using a mix of narrative and wit in a way that communicates her vision for the future of healthcare.

Cameron Walsh, Software Developer, Chief MyChart Medications Officer at Epic Systems Inc.

Speaking Engagements

  • University of Massachusetts Medical School – Wooster, MA
  • Duke Raleigh Hospital – Durham, NC
  • UCSF Medical School – San Francisco, CA
  • Atrium Health/Carolina Medical Center – Charlotte, NC
  • University Medical Center Tumor Board – Lubbock, TX
  • Prince George’s County Community College Nursing Program – Largo, MD
  • Central Oregon Oncology Nursing Symposium – Bend, OR
  • Mass General Hospital – Boston, MA
  • Bluffton Medical Center – Bluffton, SC
  • St. Charles Medical Center – Bend, OR
  • Foundation for Women’s Cancer Survivor Education – Raleigh, NC
  • Good Samaritan Hospital – Portland, OR
  • Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington – Portland, OR
  • Morehead Hospital Imaging Center – Eden, NC
  • Project Self Sufficiency – Survivor Event – Newton, NJ
  • Woman to Woman, Mount Sinai Hospital – New York, NY
  • Thriving Together, Nuvance Health – Hudson Valley and Western Connecticut
  • Cancer Survivor Dinner, Shenendoah Oncology – Winchester, VA
  • EPIC Systems – Verona, WI
  • Shared Governance Meeting, Midstate Hospital – Meriden, CT
  • Living Well Foundation – Tallahassee, FL
  • Oncology Nurse and Patient Navigation Conference – Dallas, TX
  • Association of Oncology Nurses and Nurse Navigators – Nashville, TN
  • AONN Dinner – Kansas City, MO
  • SLOCA (Steps to Ovarian Cancer Survivorship) – St. Louis. MO
  • NOCC (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Annual Conference) – Las Vegas, NV
  • Lambda Delta Psi Ovarian Cancer Fundraiser – Lubbock, TX
  • Breast Cancer Connections Annual Conference – Redwood Shores, CA
  • Myriad Genetics Annual Sales Conference – Orlando, FL
  • Myriad Genetics Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month at HQ – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Ovarian Cancer Survivorship Program – Medford, OR
  • Foundation for Women’s Cancer Survivor Education – NC State, Raleigh, NC
  • Think of Laura Support Group – Birmingham, AL
  • Sandra & Leon Levine JCC – Charlotte, NC
  • Congregation Beth Israel Sisterhood – Houston, TX
  • JCC of Greater Washington – Rockville, MD
  • Haddassah Program on Hereditary Cancer Syndrome – Charlotte, NC
  • Temple Solel Sisterhood – Bowie, MD
  • Haddassah Program on Hereditary Cancer – San Antonio, TX
  • Haddassah Program on Hereditary Cancer – Annapolis, MD
  • Challah Bake – Providence, RI & West Palm Beach, FL

Extensive travel and presentations throughout every region of the United States including Alaska and Hawaii.


Katya Lezin, Author

Book Katya for a Speaking Event