Fight On

October may be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but Nicki Boscia Durlester acts as a breast cancer awareness activist all year long, working to support survivors and save lives.

  • Category
  • Written by
    Linda Grasso

Sherman Oaks resident Nicki Boscia Durlester has lived nearly her entire life with the threat of cancer. She first encountered the disease at the age of 5, when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. 

“It’s our family business. My mother and six of her seven sisters all had breast, ovarian or fallopian tube cancer. Hard to escape when your family has the BRCA2 gene mutation,” she says.

Nicki was by her mother’s side through her battle with fallopian tube cancer; she died when Nicki was 20. “I didn’t know at the time that I had a BRCA2 mutation,  but the threat of breast or ovarian cancer always loomed large,” Nicki confides.

In 2001, Nicki tested positive for the gene mutation. Then, eight years later, her worst fears came true. At the age of 52, a cancerous mass was detected in her breast. A bilateral mastectomy as well as a life change followed. 

“That finally gave me the golden ticket to make this my full-time job,” Nicki explains. She ended her 30-year career as a headhunter to devote herself to raising awareness and providing support for others.  

In her first book, Beyond the Pink Moon, Nicki wrote about her own breast cancer story. The book spawned a support group Facebook page (The Pink Moon Lovelies), which inspired a second book. 

In Nicki’s new tome, The Pink Moon Lovelies: Empowering Stories of Survival, 50 people share their stories after being diagnosed. With candor and intimate detail, the stories are told by everyday women—ranging from a sergeant in the U.S. Marines to Nicki’s own 26-year-old daughter, Ally, who also carries the dangerous gene. 

“The idea to create a collection of stories was fostered by the goal to have far-reaching effects outside of Facebook. It is important to share the journeys of these brave hearts who are willing to stand up and make a difference in the lives of previvors, survivors and people whose lives have been touched by breast and ovarian cancer,” Nicki explains. She adds, “That’s all of us, isn’t it?”

Labor of love 

All book proceeds will be donated  to breast and ovarian cancer research.

Top 5 Risk Reducers

Dr. Kristi Funk,  medical director of the Pink Lotus Breast Center ( and the surgeon who recently operated on actress Angelina Jolie, provides tips to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Cut it  

Alcohol increases estrogen levels, impairs immunity function and inactivates folic acid (which is important for repairing DNA when it goes awry). Limit to one a day.

Lose it  

No question. No controversy. Obese women have more than twice the breast cancer incidence, recurrence and breast cancer-related deaths than non-obese women.  

Eat it  

Concentrate on a high-fiber, low-fat, lean meat (chicken, fish, turkey) diet with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) and a splash of monounsaturated oils (olive, sesame, flaxseed).

Move it  

Women who exercise three to four times per week at moderate to vigorous levels have a 30% to 40% lower incidence of breast cancer than sedentary women. So break a sweat!

Forget it  

Resentment, anger, grudges … stress creates chronic inflammation, the preferred environment for cancer cells. Breathe deep. Let it go. The stress could kill you.


More Stories
Eat & Drink

Pie You Must Eat; Pizzscotti Sale

If you’ve been to the Studio City Farmers Market, no doubt you’ve tasted a sample of Morgan Simon's sweet and savory pies from Pi Bake Shop, as she's been a weekly fixture at the market for two years. If you haven’t, you are missing out; her pies are as perfect as they come, with a light, flaky crust and a fresh, […]

Eat & Drink

Creative New Donuts

Blinkie’s Donut Emporium, the local Woodland Hills treasure that recently won Ventura Blvd magazine’s donut taste test, has expanded on their classic repertoire. Teresa Ngo has run Blinkie’s since 2003 with baker/father Hugh. She has rolled out a new generation of supple raised donuts inspired by culinary experiences. “Classic donuts are fun, but I feel […]


Meet DJ Spider, a.k.a. Oliver Nathan, and wife Wells Butler

She is a successful clothing designer. He is one of the hottest DJs in the business. Along with an adorable ball of energy named Jude, they personify Valley cool.