Carly Gunn adjusts her wig as she gets ready for the photo shoot.

Gunn, 38, is battling breast cancer and the chemotherapy she's been undergoing for the past five weeks means all her hair has fallen out.

Thus the wig.

But, she's in good spirits.

"I feel good for the most part," she said.

"The worst is right after the chemo for a day or two and then it's OK. This cancer is stage one, so I expect a full recovery. I'm looking at it as a difficult six month pass because it was caught in the early stage, rather than something more sinister."

Gunn is a nurse who works in child and youth mental health with Kelowna General Hospital and Interior Health.

She also has her own business, Kindred Connections Okanagan, a mobile service that comes to patient's homes, or wherever they are comfortable, to help them and their family thorugh the complex world of mental health assessment and treatment.

As a nurse, when Gunn discovered a lump in her breast in June, she had an inkling it maybe early stage cancer.

She saw her doctor twice, but because of her age being under 40, the doctor said it was probably nothing.

"I felt something was wrong, so I asked for a biopsy," said Gunn.

"I had to advocate for myself to get the biopsy. It meant this cancer was caught early, and is much more treatable than cancer discovered in its late stages."

Gunn's advice is for every patient to advocate for themselves.

"If your body is telling you something is wrong, it probably is," she said.

"Ask the right questions. Ask your doctor to do a biopsy or whatever is needed. Insist if you have to."

After several rounds of chemotherapy, Gunn will have a lumpectomy to surgically remove the lump in her breast, which is much less invasive than having the whole breast removed (mastectomy).

And then she'll undergo radiation treatment to make sure the cancer is gone.

During treatment, Gunn is on leave from Kelowna General Hospital and Interior Health, but she is still managing to speak with Kindred Connections clients over the phone.

When fully back at it, Gunn will be able to offer the full Kindred Connections service to clients by meeting children and youth, and their family, in their home or wherever they feel comfortable, be it a coffeeshop or park.

Since the service is mobile, the child and family tend to be more open.

"It's quite often difficult to get kids with mental health issues to the hospital," said Gunn.

"So, a service that offers assessment and referrals in the home is thinking outside the box."

An assessment usually takes two-and-a-half hours and then Gunn can recommend a pediatrician or counsellor.

Gunn's service isn't covered by medical insurance, so families have to pay her directly.

Her fee is $100 an hour for the initial assessment, with referrals afterward for free.

"Each youth is different, so having a personalized service come to their home takes the fear and stigma out of it," she said.

The idea for Kindred Connections was a bit of an epiphany while Gunn was on maternity leave after having her daughter, Vivian, now 23-months-old.

"I started to brainstorm what I could do to continue to help youth and families affected by mental health issues on a flexible schedule for a new mom," said Gunn.

"I took the leap. It's not a huge income earner, but it's doing better than I expected and its helping."

Gunn doesn't see her service as replacing the work she does at Kelowna General Hospital and Interior Health in the emergency department, the adolescent psychiatry unit or as a youth crisis response clinician.

She also doesn't see it as a replacement for The Foundry, Interior Health's new one-stop-shop for youth with mental health concerns.

"I see my business simply as a way to help more people and the only service that offers assessments in home," said Gunn.

Gunn's sister-in-law, Hayley Newmarch, who works at FortisBC, nominated her for Top Forty Under 40 because what she's doing is unique.