Our Story

The METAvivor non-profit was established by a small group pro-active metastatic breast cancer patients who felt that the lack of research and support dedicated to their disease and to those suffering from it was just plain wrong. Their determination to make a difference has made METAvivor what it is today. In the years since its founding, METAvivor has become internationally recognized for raising awareness and funds explicitly for stage 4 breast cancer research. While  METAvivor has suffered the loss of quite a few Board members since its founding, there has never been a lack of people stepping up to take the place of those who have gone.  Indeed, with each death METAvivor’s resolve has only grown stronger METAvivor will continue to push ahead until the day metastatic breast cancer is rendered a truly survivable condition.


The pink ribbon is well-known for representing the fight against breast cancer, but many stage 4 breast cancer patients feel that pink does not encapsulate their experience. Metastatic breast cancer may start in the breast, but its spread to vital organs makes the disease fatal. To highlight the uniqueness of the disease and show its commonality with other stage 4 cancers, METAvivor designed a base ribbon of green and teal to represent metastasis. Green represents the triumph of spring over winter, life over death, and symbolizes renewal, hope, and immortality while teal symbolizes healing and spirituality. The thin pink ribbon overlay signifies that the metastatic cancer originated in the breast. Because all stage 4 cancer patients have common concerns and challenges, we invite other cancer communities to overlay their own cancer’s ribbon on this metastatic ribbon base.


The term "survivor" is often used to identify the triumph of someone who has completed cancer treatment with their lives intact. Many of us feel that this term does not truly represent our situation for the simple reason that almost none of us is expected to survive in the end. Thus we have chosen to call ourselves "metavivors" to indicate that yes, we are indeed alive, but we are living with a metastasis that will ultimately take our lives. We live in a whole different world, and that world is not rosy pink.


Average survival for metastatic breast cancer is only 18-24 months.