Meet Stephanie Gabriel, Mom and Breast Cancer Survivor

Today, I’m absolutely thrilled to introduce you to an extraordinary woman who has truly impacted my life — my sister-in-law, Stephanie Gabriel. 

Hailing from Southern California, Stephanie built a dynamic career in advertising and marketing within the sports industry. But she eventually pursued her ultimate dream job and most important role in her life: being a stay-at-home mom to her three children. 

Stephanie is a proud mother of nine-year-old twins – a boy and a girl – and a six-year-old son. Her love for motherhood shines brightly in every aspect of her life. However, her world took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, at just 38 years old. Despite this life-altering news, she managed to balance the challenges of motherhood with her fight against cancer, emerging as a proud survivor. 

I feel truly blessed to have Stephanie in my life. As someone who has recently started my own motherhood journey, I have constantly found guidance and inspiration in her. Stephanie has always been there, a few steps ahead, offering wisdom and support. Her courage and resilience during her battle with cancer have deeply inspired me and I’m sure they will inspire you too.

in this episode:

[03:11] Stephanie recounts her idyllic childhood and what it was like growing up in a tightly-knit family. 

[12:07] Stephanie shares her struggles with adulthood such as balancing expectations and social roles. 

[19:25] Friendships and relationships, including meeting and marrying her husband.

[28:22] How Stephanie honed her job search to align with her passion that stems from her childhood. 

[29:48] “I knew I had to work every day so I decided to pursue something I was interested in. I was willing to learn and knew I could do it if someone would teach me the ropes, so off I went.” – Stephanie 

[30:20] Why Stephanie left her successful career in advertising and what led her to embrace her most important role as a stay-at-home mom.

[33:58] Stephanie’s journey through a complicated pregnancy which led to the premature birth of her twins. 

[47:20] How Stephanie’s unexpected friendship in the NICU led to the creation of Miracle Babies, a nonprofit that provides support for families with babies in intensive care.

[53:40] Stephanie’s battle with stage two breast cancer and how she balanced motherhood with her fight against it. 

[1:09:29] The crucial role of community — how Stephanie found strength in the support of others.

[1:10:34] The role Stephanie’s husband, Nick, played during her cancer treatment and how it deepened their relationship.

[01:15:17] The Fast Five Questions

[01:19:57] “Back then, it wasn’t exactly cool to be focused on studying or striving hard. Now as an adult, I realize those traits are the ones that pave the way for success in work, parenting, and even during my battle with cancer. That determination and drive to succeed have always been a part of me, quietly shaping my journey.” – Stephanie

about Stephanie Gabriel

Stephanie Gabriel is a proud mother to 4-year-old boy/girl twins James and Emily and a 15-month-old little boy named Johnny. Due to health complications during her pregnancy, twins James and Emily were born 7 weeks premature, weighing 3 pounds each, and as a result, spent 4.5 weeks in the NICU at Hoag Hospital. Thankfully James and Emily received excellent care from the doctors and nurses and are now thriving four-year-olds.

After experiencing the NICU firsthand and learning about many of the challenges families face while in the NICU and the months and years that follow, Stephanie wanted to give back to a cause that is close to her heart and help other families in need. Stephanie joined Miracle Babies in the summer of 2015 as a founding member of the Miracle Babies Orange County Auxiliary Chapter. Stephanie currently serves as the Hospital Liaison for the OC Chapter and coordinates monthly dinners and craft nights for NICU families, delivers care packages and donations, and helps build relationships with the hospitals and families.

Stephanie finds connecting with other NICU parents at hospital parent hours extremely rewarding and is passionate about providing support to those in need. In addition to leading parent hours, Stephanie helps plan fundraising events with other OC Chapter volunteers.

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