The End of Breast Cancer
The end of breast cancer: we wish. This is the theme and goal of the National Breast Cancer Coalition as they move forward. Many of you are familiar with their wonderful work (and, if you are not, you should be)...http://www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org/
Here is an editorial from the Huffington Post by the President, Fran Visco, about this deadline. I give you the introduction and then a link to read more:
The End of Breast Cancer: 20 Years Down, 9 to Go
At the end of this month, nearly a thousand women will come to Washington DC to participate in the National Breast Cancer Coalition's 19th Annual Advocacy Training Conference. The theme this year is "Changing the Conversation" as we aim to focus efforts within the breast cancer community on a common goal of ending the disease by January 1, 2020.
It was almost exactly 20 years ago that I received an invitation to a meeting in Washington, DC that was also to talk about a new approach in breast cancer. In May 1991, I was one of about 60 women (and one man) gathered to hear about an idea: a coalition of organizations to focus on political advocacy and systems change in breast cancer. I have often described that meeting as my epiphany. I found what I wanted to do about my diagnosis of breast cancer.
In September 1987, I was a partner in a law firm in Philadelphia, a wife and mother of a 14-month-old son. I was a community volunteer, involved in women's rights issues, sitting on nonprofit boards, working in political campaigns. I was 39 years old. And I found out I had breast cancer. It came as quite a shock. I knew nothing about the disease -- I didn't think I had to know, mistakenly believing that my lack of family history made this a nonissue in my life. I went through a lumpectomy, radiation, chemotherapy because of lymph node involvement. I began volunteering with the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation in Philadelphia and joined their board. They do the very important work of educating the community and helping underserved women get information and care. But I am an activist. I needed to do more. Hence, the epiphany that day in May.
I sat among a group of women who decided to take on the status quo, challenge the establishment, demand change. They were ready to learn about the issues and then speak out. I felt right at home. And I knew I had to be a part of that community.
We built an organization different from any other: bringing under one umbrella hundreds of diverse groups, with distinct perspectives, beliefs, approaches. These organizations were different in every way except one: we were all dedicated to ending breast cancer. And we were willing to do what was necessary to achieve it. So much of what we have done over the past twenty years has been controversial, but it has been remarkably meaningful.