Women holding hands

our mission

We strive to help and heal young women during their cancer journey.

stars
“Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars.”

—VICTOR HUGO

Our Story

May Leave Stars was founded to provide emotional support and community for young women on their cancer journey. The blog is a collaboration between two friends, Kelly and Mariel. 

Kelly and Mariel originally met on the marketing team at a tech company in San Francisco. A fast friendship was formed over walks through the Mission to spot cute dogs, a love of travel and food, and most importantly, a deep appreciation for the emotional complexities of day-to-day life. They continued their friendship as they moved on to other jobs and travel throughout the world — Kelly to New Zealand to fulfill her lifelong dream of hiking every day and Mariel to Italy to rediscover her Italian roots.

In summer 2019, Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 and immediately entered into a world of surgery, egg freezing, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. She quickly realized the importance of emotional support during treatment and decided to start a blog to process her experience and help other young women on their cancer journey. She asked Mariel if she could help with the brand design and May Leave Stars was born. The name for the blog comes from the Victor Hugo quote “Whatever causes night in our souls may leave stars.”

They hope this blog can provide other young women with breast cancer (or any health issue) a place where they feel seen, understood, and less alone in their journey. 

Our Team

Kelly headshot circle

kelly horan

Kelly is originally from the Bay Area and has lived in San Francisco, Wellington, New Zealand, and currently Portland, Oregon. Kelly is both indoorsy and outdoorsy — equally happy with a book and cup of tea or out hiking or snowshoeing.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 and while her cancer doesn’t define her, it did change her life forever. 

Mariel headshot circle

mariel feldman

Originally from Boston, Mariel moved to San Francisco in 2011 after graduating from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She currently works independently as a freelance designer and illustrator. When she is not designing, you can find her on an outdoor photography adventure, playing beach volleyball, or testing out a new recipe in the kitchen.