Women's Health

Surviving Breast Cancer Has Given Julie Stokes a New Legislative Purpose

Surviving Breast Cancer Has Given Julie Stokes a New Legislative Purpose

Surviving Breast Cancer Has Given Julie Stokes a New Legislative Purpose

After surviving breast cancer, Julie Stokes – Republican member of the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 79 - wants to make the battle easier for other Louisianians.

A fighter even before cancer

Julie Skinner Stokes was born on January in 1970. In 1992, she earned her Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of New Orleans. From 2000 until 2010, she operated as an accountant with a background in auditing and afterwards, she became the chief financial officer of Stokes & Associates. In 2013, she entered the Legislature, determined to bring about more order and predictability to Louisiana’s tax system and how the state taxes its residents and entities. As a result of her active, hard work on sales tax reform, Stokes was recognized nationally as one of a handful of state “Tax Legislators of the Year”.

Throughout her line of work, Stokes has received several other legislative awards, including “Champion of Economic Development”, “Education Choice Champion”, “Small Business Champion”, “Family Advocate”, “Liberty Award”, “Legislative All-Star”, and “Legislator of the Year”.

Taking a sharp turn

She planned to run for state treasurer and was considered a front-runner for the position; however, her life took an unexpected turn in 2017 when what she originally thought was a cyst turned out to be breast cancer. “My team of doctors has determined that I will begin at least five months of chemotherapy treatment. So instead of running for state treasurer to help get our state’s fiscal house in order, I will focus on fighting and winning my battle against cancer and spending quality time with my loving family who mean the world to me,” wrote Stokes.

She underwent chemotherapy sessions and surgery, and after a 6-month battle with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, she was declared cancer-free at the start of the new year. Stokes stated that she had always believed the new year is a time for reflection and renewal, bringing about “an opportunity to look holistically at who we are and seek ways to enhance our lives in order to better serve others. For me, 2018 will be no different. It is undeniable that this experience has changed me, and I feel that I have grown a great deal,” she said.

Read on to learn more about Julie Stokes's breast cancer journey alongside her political journey.

Photo: The University of New Orleans