by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

A Strong Survivor

faces_haffner2Erin Haffner has always led an active lifestyle. While growing up in the Bay Area, Erin and her family would travel to various State and National Parks to camp, hike, kayak, and ski. “My family loved the outdoors,” shared Erin, who, to this day, enjoys many outdoor activities, including skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, and running. “I grew up playing sports such as soccer, track, and cross country.”

While Erin was in college she developed an interest in physical therapy; and in 2009, she obtained her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of San Francisco. Not long after Erin completed graduate school, life as she knew it changed drastically when she received a shocking diagnosis: Erin had breast cancer. “The way I beat breast cancer at the age of 30 was with the help of an incredible team of doctors at University of California San Diego, an awesome group of friends and family, and a supportive and loving church that prayed and believed in my healing,” Erin shared. Remarkably, just six months after her first surgery to remove the cancer, Erin’s doctor gave her good news. “My surgeon went in and found that the cancer was gone!” explained Erin. “I got a second chance on life and every day I thank God for that.”

Name: Erin Haffner
Community: Carlsbad
Profession: Owner of MUV Physical Therapy in Carlsbad Gateway Center
Hobbies: Run, ski, snow shoe, hike, mountain bike, kayak, and take Pilates and yoga classes


After her experience with cancer, Erin was inspired to help improve patient health care. “I wanted to have the freedom to perform manual therapy on patients, teach them their therapeutic exercises, and discuss other forms of decreasing their inflammation or injury such as talking about lifestyle and nutrition,” described Erin. “This work is important to me because I have experienced injuries, surgeries, grief, and sickness, and I wanted to provide a place for patients to come and experience a wellness approach to physical therapy.”

Fueled by her passion for health and wellness, Erin opened her own physical therapy practice in Carlsbad. “The advice I would give to someone who is interested in opening their own small business is to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are entrepreneurs in your field, and take them out for coffee and ask questions,” offered Erin. “There is no question that is ‘too stupid.’ It is better to be overprepared than underprepared.”


In her downtime, Erin spends time with her boyfriend and five-year-old Labrador dog at her home in Carlsbad. “What I enjoy most about the community is how beautiful it is,” said Erin, who enjoys running along the coast highway. “I also love how people care about their health and well-being here. They are always seeking ways to live a more fulfilling and balanced life.”