Our Story

We started Let’s Talk Menopause because we've learned from our individual experiences—and those of just about every other woman we know—that too many women do not get the information, support, and healthcare they need during menopause. Too many of us are suffering unnecessarily. Too many of us don’t know what to ask. 

Let’s Talk Menopause aims to change this through education and advocacy. We want to empower women to seek the relief they need and encourage them to talk openly about their menopause experience.

Illustration of a woman with grey hair sipping coffee

Our menopause journeys began at different ages and for different reasons. Our stories are personal, but they are 
not unique.

photo of donna klassen

At 52, Donna was diagnosed with estrogen-positive breast cancer. During pre-mastectomy testing, two large cysts on her ovaries were discovered, which necessitated an oophorectomy (the removal of her ovaries), prior to her double mastectomy. Before these surgeries, Donna had experienced irritability and joint pain as part of perimenopause. Post-surgeries, she was put on an aromatase inhibitor, a drug category that blocks estrogen production and greatly reduces the risk of cancer recurrence. She immediately became postmenopausal and began to drown in symptoms—hot flashes, exhaustion, irritability, brain fog, and heart palpitations. She was disheartened that even her gynecological oncologist failed to offer any medical guidance around medically or surgically induced menopause. But Donna knew that she needed help and she knew how to get it. She assembled a support system to address her physical, psychological, and emotional needs. In this process, she grew increasingly aware of how important—and how uncommon—such support is for women, regardless of how they enter menopause.

Through her work as a clinician and director at The Motherhood Center of New York, Donna experienced the impact of education, community, and public awareness on illuminating shrouded issues such as infertility and postpartum depression. She saw first-hand the life-changing—sometimes life-saving—effects this advocacy had on lifting stigma. She knows the same work needs to be done to push menopause out of the shadows and into the light.  

Read Donna's Bio

photo of samara daly

At 48, Samara started having chronic and recurring UTIs, out-of-the-blue irritability, and forgetfulness. Her gynecologist at the time never suggested that these symptoms could be related to menopause. It was not until a year later that Samara learned from a trusted friend that she was very likely in perimenopause—and that she was not alone in feeling blindsided by its onset.

Samara had always felt confident in her choice of physicians and proud of being vigilant about her health, but this experience opened her eyes. She learned that most gynecologists do not have deep training in menopause and decided to find one that did. She chose a physician who specializes in urogynecology and makes time for meaningful conversations about perimenopause, menopause symptom treatment options, and how to live a healthy, enjoyable life.  

That was the beginning of her journey. Now, Samara wants to raise the national consciousness around menopause through education, conversation, and community so that all women have the support and care they need to lead healthy, fulfilling lives at every age.

Read Samara's Bio

photo of Christine Maginnis

At 35, Christine knew something was not right. Her thinking was foggy, she felt lethargic, and she was quickly gaining weight. Though she was a happy newlywed, her libido was in noticeable decline. When she shared these symptoms with her gynecologist, the doctor told her to “get used to it as the honeymoon doesn’t last forever.” Christine felt unheard and dismissed. Knowing that her family had a history of thyroid problems, she insisted on having hers tested. Days later, she was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (now called Premature Ovarian Insufficiency or POI), which meant that just as she was planning to start a family, she learned she was infertile and well into perimenopause.

Christine hopes to use her strength as an educator and storyteller to destigmatize menopause so others don’t walk through it alone, especially women who have experienced Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI). Girls learn about the physical and emotional changes they may experience when they get their period. Pregnant women are deluged with literature about what to expect in pregnancy. But women going through menopause are often adrift and need more resources and support. Christine is eager to create a well-informed community of people who learn from and support one another.