CEO of Gabbi, Kaitin Christine, On Cancer and Surviving
July 5, 2023
Kaitlin Christine is a breast cancer survivor, ovarian cancer previvor and the CEO & Founder at Gabbi.

Can you share with us why you started Gabbi?

When I was in my Senior year of college, my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had been getting her annual mammograms, but it turns out, that was the inappropriate screening for her. 

By the time her breast cancer was diagnosed, it was too late and my Mom died from a late stage breast cancer within 8 months of being diagnosed.

Fast forward about a year, and I find a lump in both of my breasts. 

I had to fight to be heard, to get the appropriate screening, and to get the right care. During a “preventative” surgery, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 24 years old.

What helps to differentiate Gabbi in the market?

Today for a woman to get her risk assessed, she has to see a specialist–often at an academic center or center of excellence. 

Because most OBGYN’s and PCPs are not trained on how to appropriately assess breast cancer risk, women are prescribed the standard protocol for an average risk woman–whether or not they are at an average risk.

We don’t require DNA. And we can order everything from a mammogram to providing you genetic counseling.

Gabbi is the first consumer facing risk assessment and only solution that can accurately & immediately assess the risk of women of all ages & ethnicities without the dependence on a medical professional and expedite the time it takes for her to get care by prescribing the right type of care at exactly the right time.

What have you learned as a new startup CEO?

It’s really hard. And it’s really lonely. And because of that, I have learned how important it is to build a community of other CEOs and other startup founders to really lean on.

What other tips do you have for people who want to start businesses fueled by their own challenges and experiences? Does it make it harder or easier?

Find other female founders who are 1-2 steps ahead of you in the same space and learn from them. And find other female founders who are exactly at the same stage as you and help each other.

It makes it harder and it makes it easier.

It makes it easier because you so passionately believe in the problem you are solving and most intimately understand why you are uniquely equipped to solve it. Which means no one will have passion like you, and that attracts everything from employees to investors. It also means when the shit hits the fan, you constantly come back to your “why.” And the shit hits the fan… a lot, but at the end of the day, I am not doing this to make money or for notoriety, what keeps me going is My Mom. 

Your sister who was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer. My employee’s grandmother who was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer.

It is harder because you are so passionate about the problem that you work harder and longer than anyone else and get burnt out frequently. And when you fail or make mistakes, it can hit harder than just a “job.”

Have you found female mentorship to be useful as you scale your career? And, how do you think of mentorship as you scale?

100% crucial.

I wouldn’t be here today without the mentorship and support of many other female leaders. Which is also why I am so passionate about doing the same thing for other women who are just starting out. As we are climbing our own career ladder, I think it is our responsibility as female leaders to turn around and lift the woman behind us up a few stairs. Multiple women did it for me and I intend to keep paying it back. At the end of the day, we all go up together.

Who are other leaders you admire?

  • Kate Ryder @Maven
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Whitney Wolfe @Bumble
  • Anne Wojicki @23andMe

What is one thing you can’t live without?

Q-tips and Tea.

More about Kaitlin Christine

Christine has spent over 9 years in women’s health and was the youngest hire for the leading genetic testing company, Myriad Genetics. Before starting Gabbi she was the first full-time hire at the email marketing startup Worth eCommerce that she grew to acquisition. Christine won Oregon Entrepreneur of the Year in 2021, was selected as one of Business Insider's Most Promising Femtech Companies in 2022, Inc’s Top Female Founders in 2023, and Top 50 Digital Health Disruptors in 2023 by Rock Health. ​


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