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Updated 2021

Leigh Pate is a former public affairs and political consultant, communications specialist, writer and amateur photographer living in Seattle Washington.  Thanks to a lobular breast cancer (ILC) diagnosis in 2011, followed by a second unrelated cancer diagnosis of advanced Fallopian Tube cancer in December 2016, she became a patient research advocate and works to advance research and represent the patient voice in breast and ovarian cancer research. 

Leigh founded the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA) working with committed volunteer patient advocates and breast cancer researcher and clinicians. LBCA formally launched in 2017 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and Leigh led LBCA until 2020.  Leigh launched and led LBCA while being treated for multiple recurrences of the fallopian tube/ovarian cancer, working with researchers and patient advocates from around the country all brought together by the First International Lobular Breast Cancer Symposium in Pittsburgh PA in fall 2016.   Since its launch LBCA has grown and thrived, and works to advance research and educate about lobular breast cancer which needs additional research so patients receive appropriate tailored therapies they need.  LBCA sparked interest and advocacy for lobular research and advocacy internationally, with lobular breast cancer focused research networks, patient advocacy organizations and research funds now active around the world. 

Today, Leigh continues her advocacy for both breast and ovarian cancer patients and promotes patient-centered research and education internationally and in the United States.  She serves as a Komen Scholar and a steering committee member for Advocates in Science for the Susan G Komen Foundation.  She is a member of the patient engagement committee for the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.  She is a consumer grant reviewer for the Dept. of Defense Congressionally Directed Mandated Research Program Breast Cancer Research Program and Ovarian Cancer Research Program.  She is a member of the Conquer Cancer Foundation Grants Selection Committee with the American Association of Clinical Oncology.  She regularly speaks with medical and nursing students about the early symptoms and difficulty in diagnosing Ovarian Cancer as a volunteer with the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance Survivors Teaching Students program.  She has presented numerous conferences, meetings and online presentations, trained and mentored patient advocates, authored publications and posters for scientific journals and conferences and partnered with researchers to develop successful grant applications.

Much of the photography and writing on this website reflects Leigh’s life outside cancer, when she would travel the world, often on a bicycle, telling stories and sharing photos from travels around the world.  She occasionally writes about life after cancer that not only changed her physically but altered how she sees the world, and travels through it.

Leigh’s photography has been shown in art venues around Seattle.  She has spoken at events in the US and Canada.  Articles about her travels and her cancer have been published in local newspapers, magazines and online interest sites and blogs.

Leigh was an independent political and public affairs consultant until 2015.  She worked on the Clinton-Gore campaign in 1992 in Little Rock on women’s outreach, was a staffer on the Presidential Inaugural Committee and later worked at the Democratic National Committee until 1994.  Leigh moved to the west coast and worked on campaigns in Oregon (John Kitzhaber for Governor 1994 and Ron Wyden for Senate in 1995) and then to Washington where she worked on various state and local campaigns for candidates and ballot measures.  As an independent consultant she worked for non-profit, government, labor and political organizations on efforts to pass policies to prohibit smoking in public places, fund health and education initiatives, train local volunteer committees to pass successful school funding ballot measures and other efforts.  

Leigh grew up in rural North Carolina and attended Guilford College, a small liberal arts college founded by the Society of Friends (Quakers) which informed her world view and cultivated an advocacy ethic.   She lives in Seattle, WA.