Sarah Thebarge: Hachette Speakers Bureau

Sarah Thebarge

Cancer Survivor Who Encountered a Unique Road to Recovery

Sarah Thebarge’s journey from cancer patient to cancer survivor is a profoundly moving story of finding love and redemption in the most unexpected places.

Growing up a conservative pastor’s kid in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Thebarge shattered the glass ceiling of her family’s expectations and traditional upbringing to become the first woman in her family to graduate from college and then go on to earn a masters degree in Medical Science from Yale School of Medicine. While studying Journalism at Columbia University in pursuit of becoming a medical journalist, her forward trajectory came to a grinding halt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27. After she lost everything, she moved from the east coast to Portland, Oregon, with just a suitcase of clothes, and started over.

It was at that point that she had a chance encounter with a family of Somali refugees on a train in Portland. The details of Thebarge and the Somali girls’ story of survival, recovery and redemption are recorded in Thebarge’s memoir, The Invisible Girls. (April, 2013)

A Somali refugee whose husband had left her, Hadhi was struggling to raise five young daughters, half a world away from her war-torn homeland. Alone in a strange country, Hadhi and the girls were on the brink of starvation in their own home, “invisible” to their neighbors and to the world.

As Thebarge helped Hadhi and the girls navigate American life, her outreach to the family became a source of courage and a lifeline for herself. Thebarge developed a relationship with them, and over the next few months, while she taught the single Somali mom and her five daughters how to live in America, they taught her how to love and be loved again.

Thebarge’s writing has also appeared in Just Between Us, Relevant Magazine and Christianity Today. Her work for Christianity Today earned her first prize from the Evangelical Press Association in 2012. Her blog has been featured on and she was named one of 40 Women Under 40 who are challenging the taboos of the Christian Faith by the “I Speak For Myself” initiative.

Interested in booking Sarah Thebarge to speak at your next event?

Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau.


  • The Invisible Girls: Lessons Learned from Female Somali Refugees
  • Surviving Cancer: One Woman’s Poignant Journey to Healing & Redemption
  • Invisible No More: Gaining Awareness of Marginalized People
  • Navigating Faith and Life as a Woman

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