Meet the One Million Strong – Diane Nathaniel from New York


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Meet Diane

Carrie Diane Nathaniel Brooklyn, New York

Diane's Story

My name is Carrie Diane Nathaniel. I am a stage III colon cancer survivor. I am the proud co-founder of Beat Stage 3, an image-conscious cause for cancer fighters and survivors. The name for this company was birthed from my diagnosis and my decision to chronicle my journey through cancer and chemo. At the start of each chemo session I would post a photo of myself with whoever was accompanying me that day. I began to hashtag #Ibeatstage3 on every post. Each completion was a victory even though I felt like giving up because it was torture on my body.
Diane with a friend during chemo treatment
Somehow the term beat stage III gave me life and has now morphed into a brand and service. Beat Stage 3 is an experience and service for cancer fighters and survivors who want to celebrate and commemorate life with an event that reminds them of their beauty inside and out - despite having cancer. Beat Stage 3 is a full-service organization with a glam squad, professional photography, custom made shirts and DJ services. Beat Stage 3 hosted its first survivor's brunch on February 21, 2016. Amarachi Restaurant in Brooklyn graciously allowed me to host this event and all other future cancer events at their venue as their contribution to the fight against cancer. I created this event from a need for a support group that embodied resilience, beauty, laughter, resources for survivorship and encouragement. As I went through my process, I found that groups that supported survivorship were not as available. The survivor's brunch resulted in a new t-shirt design and tagline that was revealed on March 7 - marking my 2-year diagnosis anniversary. I also created “Turn Up Thursdays” when I was going through chemo treatments. Each Thursday, before I started my 48-hour chemo sessions, I would go out to eat at a different restaurant with friends and family. It was a time to eat anything I wanted because I knew that the seven days during and after chemo I would not be able to eat. Diane_Nathaniel_Cancer_Free_PartyMy oldest and dearest friend is a professional photographer. I was just beginning to lose my hair five months after chemo treatments. Though the doctors told me I wouldn’t lose any hair, based on the cocktail of treatment I was taking, hair fell out anyway. I told my friend how I didn’t feel beautiful and was self-conscious of my appearance. She became very emotional and wanted to know how she could help. She decided to do a photoshoot with me! I was reluctant at first but ultimately decided it would be a good opportunity. On the day of the shoot I was treated like a queen - a reserved car picked me up from my house, took me to my friend’s house in Central Park where I met with a famous makeup artist, a stylist, a lighting assistant and love. I felt powerful, inspired, inspiring, loved, grateful and alive. As an effort to commemorate my completion of chemo I wanted to have a party, so my friend threw me the party of a lifetime. It was held at For My Sweet, an art gallery in Brooklyn. My party was entitled “Celebration of Life”; Diane Nathaniel’s 1st Annual Chemo-Free Bash.” With more than 200 people in attendance I revealed my pictures, had a step and repeat and a signature blue drink. It was a wonderful night filled with love, good food, music, dancing, family and friends. It was so fun, we decided it should be an annual event. I had the idea of doing it for other cancer fighters and survivors and the rest of the team was on board, so here we are, a certified business ready to make people smile.

Why Do You Fight?

In addition to working on Beat Stage 3, I'm a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and speaker at SUNY Downstate Hospital health forums. After my first time speaking at SUNY, someone in the audience made an appointment to be screened that same week. I fight because I am directly affected by cancer and my children are at a higher risk. I want to ensure their safety and future by being an advocate and getting involved in the creation of policies that govern my health. I have lost countless loved ones to this disease. My life could have ended, but I was saved to save others. So I continue and make myself available for others.


If you’ve been impacted by colorectal cancer, we need you! Join us and use your experience, your story and your voice to create real change. Get started by signing up. Next, see all the ways you can do something about this disease and take steps to get connected with our community. Last, share YOUR story!

12 thoughts on “Meet the One Million Strong – Diane Nathaniel from New York

  1. This is amazing and I am proud to say I know someone so strong and so loving. It is amazing that you are creating experiences for people to feel loved and appreciated and beautiful! You are right…you were saved to save others! Beautiful sentiment. Keep fighting. Keep saving lives.

    1. OMG, Natasha thank you so much for your comments. I didn’t even see these comments until tonight. Your words are so encouraging. I am humbled and grateful and excited to live but to walk in my purpose. #beatstage3



  2. I was diagnosed with the same disease that my mother spent 3 years fighting and died from: Stage 3A colon cancer at the age of 44. I started chemotherapy on May 17, 2016 (3 completed…YAY). My faith remains strong thru it all. Thanks for sharing your story. Your story gives me the extra determination to know that I GOT THIS!

    1. S. Hawkins,

      I am so sorry my reply took this long. I had no idea people were commenting. OMG. I am sorry to learn of your diagnosis but happy that you are getting through chemo. My faith is what kept me going along with a good friend that I just lost. I was saved to make sure I do what God has called me to do which is to advocate and share information with others. If there is anything I can do for you if you want to talk, please email me. I will pray for you and I am rooting for you. I would like to send you one of my beat stage 3 Tees. Let me know if that’s ok with you.

      Love Diane

  3. I love this Diane you are definitely one in million.You are a survivor thanks for sharing your story.Keep me updated with any future events.

    1. OMG, Shorell,

      I didn’t know people were commenting. This is crazy, thank you sooooo much! I appreciate you taking the time out to leave such kind words. God is good.

      Love Diane

  4. What your doing is so commendable. Your brave and a fighter. Your an inspiration for others. Cancer has taken some of my loved ones, and it took a part of my heart when my grandmother passed. It’s a good feeling to help others with your information. Your determination and drive will inspire, your making a home for cancer patients and survivors. They’re not alone

    1. Hey SIssy,

      Forgive my late reply, I had no idea that people were commenting on this article. Thank you for your kind words. This disease is taking over!!!! I am soooo sad to know so many people need this support but extremely happy, I can help provide it. Information and access is the key to reducing the amount of people affected by this disease. I intend to advocate until I can’t anymore. God has been too good to me.

      Love you Diane

  5. Proud of you Diane . Keep doing what your doing. You inspire me to speak up and share my story as wel . Mrs

    1. Hello Gail.

      I apologize for the late response. I didn’t realize that people were commenting. This is crazy but a nice surprise. Yes every survivor can help someone by sharing their story. God is good.

      Love Diane

  6. I’m so proud of you my college friends and you were definitely Saved to Save others!!

    1. Heyyyyy Sissssyyyy,

      I had no idea people were replying. Thank you so much for your love and support. Can’t wait to see you. You better carve out some of your international time for me. Please and Thank you.

      Love Diane

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