Winning the Battle
Cindy Alexander, a singer-songwriter and cancer survivor, uses the healing power of music to share her story
by Erin Fornwald

“Music is a gift. It’s my gift, and I don’t believe we are given gifts to keep them to ourselves. I think we are supposed to give them back, and that’s what I’m trying to do.” So says Cindy Alexander (, a musician and recording artist from California who is no stranger to the Philadelphia area. A veteran of numerous albums and tours throughout the country, Alexander recently played a pair of shows in the Philadelphia suburbs and intends to return to southeastern Pennsylvania in the summer.

Many who hear Alexander’s voice and see her light up a stage would be surprised to know that less than two years ago she went through a life-changing battle with breast cancer. “I’m amazed by the human journey,” says Alexander, whose own journey has been nothing short of inspirational.

Alexander received her cancer diagnosis in the summer of 2013. Both of her parents battled cancer, so she knows how it feels to be on both sides of the fence. “I almost think that going through it myself was easier than it was taking care of my parents,” she says. Because of all she had to endure, spreading awareness of breast cancer, as an ambassador for, has become as integral a part of her life as writing and performing her music. Sharing her story openly was a key part of her own healing process. In fact, she wrote her newest album, “Curve,” through her diagnosis, treatment—a double mastectomy and breast reconstruction—and subsequent recovery.

Alexander’s musical talents have continued to blossom since she first discovered her talent as a young girl. Her grandmother, who was a music teacher, would play accompaniment on the piano while Alexander sang. “I think I was innately a performer and wanted the attention,” she says, describing herself as “a little bit of a drama queen.” The attention that she and her music have attracted has only grown since then. Last summer, for example, she signed with a new record label, Blue Élan Records, which has enabled her to reach a wider audience and tour more frequently. 

Alexander is now living her dream. Her songs are getting regular airplay, and she has been touring more often than ever, including with Philadelphia’s The Bacon Brothers. Her affiliation with The Bacon Brothers has helped her attract numerous fans in the Philadelphia area. She also enjoys “house concerts,” playing to audiences of 20 to 80 people, two of which she recently performed at homes in Montgomery County. “It usually ranges between $20 and $25 a person, and the host does a potluck,” she explains. “We set up in their living room, their club house or wherever they choose and we put on a show.” The connection she establishes with fans during these shows is stronger than anywhere else—an aspect she adores—because she believes her story, along with everyone else’s, is worth sharing.

“In our essence,” she says, “we’re more alike than we are different.”