Devereaux Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39 during a routine visit with her doctor. She had a lumpectomy with adjacent lymph node sampling in February of 1996. With no lymph node involvement, she was still advised to receive aggressive treatment, because of her age. She underwent a year of the most aggressive suggested course of treatment, chemotherapy and radiation. Two years later she began a course of tamoxifen as a prophylactic treatment. Her experience with the medical community has been exceptional.
Smith joined the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation San Francisco Affiliate as a response to her successful experience, as a way of helping other breast cancer sufferers experience the same success. At the time of Smith's diagnosis, her children were 4 and 7. Until last year she worked in the public affairs firm she and her husband helped found, and has found work to be a salvation, creating structure and helping her stay focused through a difficult ordeal. She has since left her job to spend more time with her family, as well as on her personal pursuit of athletic training and on a new real estate business.