Rachel Mennell, director of prevention programs and outreach, is a marketing communications professional of 20 years, the last 10 of which were spent within the healthcare industry. Rachel attended Salisbury University for undergrad and earned her MBA from the University of Delaware in 2000. Her career began at MBNA Bank within marketing research and ultimately landed her at the in-house advertising agency. Her agency experience provided her the opportunity to go work for Perdue Chicken as the advertising manager.
In August 2001, through participation in a breast cancer gene study at NIH in conjunction with the NCI, Rachel found out she carried the BRCA1 mutation. In April 2002, she participated in another study for high-risk families, which included various screening methods for cancer including mammography, MRI, breast ductal lavage, CA 125 blood work, and more.
On May 7, 2002 at age 29, Rachel was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. On May 23 (one day past her 30th birthday), she had a bilateral mastectomy. Rachel continued working at Perdue following her treatments. She consulted with McDonalds Corporation for the launch of redbox®, now owned by Coinstar, and eventually landed at DuPont with roles including global marketing communications manager for regulated commercial and consumer products and marketing communications manager within the DuPont Safety & Protection Platform. The time spent working in healthcare made her realize this was her true calling. When Medela, the global leader in breastfeeding, recruited Rachel for the role of director of marketing communications and services, it was an opportunity she couldn’t refuse, even if it took her across the country.
Analyzing research, leading global brand management, creating programs to drive messaging to consumer and professional audiences on the benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies, and developing strategic communication and outreach plans consumed her professional world for years. Rachel had said, “I would give anything to move back east to family, but I love my job with Medela and cannot imagine any job for which I would feel as much passion and dedication.” That is, until Breastcancer.org.
To this day, Rachel still considers herself one of the luckiest people you will ever meet. She is a 12-year survivor, and her dream of spreading the message of preventive healthcare and encouraging women to be their own advocates is coming true. Her personal life is made complete by spending time with her children and her husband, Dan.