2008 survivor profile: Serap Yildirim

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"We are hopeful." That's the translation for the Turkish word "umitliyiz."

It's also the name of the website created by breast cancer survivor Serap Yildirim, a 32-year-old Oceanside resident. Yildirim, who moved to the U.S. from Turkey in 2000, is a full time accountant, wife and mother.

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But after her diagnosis in 2005, she taught herself how to create and manage a website (www.umitliyiz.com) that offers support and education to cancer patients in her native land. In just one year, the site has more than 700 members. "It helps me cope to know that I'm doing something to help others," says Yildirim, who is still undergoing treatment.

She takes no money for running the website and she is working to raise funds for radiation and mammography machines to send to Turkey. "I'm fortunate to have the support of my survivors group and my family, and I want to do more for people who have so little."

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