In Jen’s words, she introduces her family and explains her breast cancer diagnosis. This video was originally created for the “Making Me Brave” series at Edenton Street United Methodist Church.
Diagnosed with an aggressive stage three breast cancer at only 34 years old in March 2018, Jen Hoverstad immediately took her story to social media for a transparent look at what it’s like to face cancer as both a young professional and mom to two toddlers. She’s become known for using social media as a tool for transparency and encouragement. Jen speaks to groups not only to share the lessons of perseverance and positivity she learned through cancer, but to help others recognize their own capacity to influence those around them.
An attorney by day, Jen serves as an advisory board member for the A.E. Finley YMCA, as well as a national brand ambassador for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Her story has been featured on WRAL-TV and through the Healthline platform. She finds inspiration in sharing the life stories of others through her “Greater Than” series featured on her blog and on her upcoming podcast (releasing in September 2019). Learn more about Jen at jenhoverstad.com.
THE LONGER VERSION:
Born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, Jennifer Edwards Hoverstad is a sixth generation North Carolinian with family roots that span from Shelby to Sampson County.
Jen married Carl Hoverstad on April 12, 2008. Dating since October 22, 2000, the two met at Millbrook High School in Raleigh and then graduated from North Carolina State University in 2006.
In 2014, after multiple rounds of infertility treatments, they had their first child, Elin, and, in 2017, as an unexpected but highly celebrated surprise, Halle joined the family.
With degrees in marketing (B.S., N.C. State) and sport studies (M.S., University of Tennessee), Jen thought she'd spend her work life in sports. By the time she held a Masters degree, she had worked for NC State Athletics, the Carolina Hurricanes (during the Stanley Cup season, no less), the University of Tennessee Men’s Athletic Department, volunteered as a student worker for Super Bowl XLI, and led summer sports camp for the YMCA.
However, after a yearlong stint with the N.C. State Wolfpack Club, and only months after getting married, Jen decided to pursue a reoccurring itch and go to law school at Elon University School of Law. She thought being a sports agent would be her dream career.
Unfortunately, Jen decided to go to law school in 2008 – the year that most career opportunities took a plunge along with the economy.
However, Jen passed the North Carolina Bar Exam and went on to litigate in family law.
In 2012, Jen left the courtroom to start out on a journey that would allow her to be a senior leader advising executive leadership in a variety of industries, beginning with Chick-fil-A. Until 2018, she served as a senior leader at Counter Culture in Durham, NC.
Through Jen’s experience with cancer, she decided she needed to find a way to better serve more people through her work. Thus, in 2018, she transitioned from corporate advising to estate planning at the Forrest Firm, a statewide full-service business law firm. Not only does Jen continue to serve business owners in ensuring their business’ legal needs are taken care of, she can make sure their personal matters are in order—just in case they run into one of life’s surprises like she did.
Jen’s breast cancer journey showed her the true meaning of community and the importance of giving what you can, when you can.
Currently, Jen serves as a national brand ambassador for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, advocating for the importance of funding research for all women’s cancers, as well as an advisory board member for the A.E. Finley YMCA in Raleigh.