By Michele Rakoff, NBCC Board Member & California Field Coordinator
After my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 1988, I asked, “Why isn’t anyone doing something about breast cancer?”
I was living in Philadelphia and began my advocacy with a local breast cancer foundation. We were helping underserved women in the communities and providing free mammograms. As Executive Director of that organization, I had the opportunity to meet with an attorney who was interested in what we were doing.
That meeting with Fran Visco changed my view about advocacy as she shared a vision to end breast cancer.
Fast forward to 1991… by then I was living in Los Angeles and working in a clinic with patients. I was still investigating what advocacy meant to me and where I could place my passion and hard work. After thoroughly searching, I discovered that a group of smart, dedicated women from diverse organizations were forming a coalition—that group turned out to be the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC). I had done my research and I knew this is where I wanted to be.
I did not realize how smart my decision was 20 years ago. NBCC has educated me through all of the Project LEAD® courses and I have had the opportunity to learn from and mentor other advocates from across the USA and other countries. As diverse as we are, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder representing the patient’s point of view on research review panels, when speaking with our legislators and working in our communities.
Our brand of advocacy is based on scientific evidence and our focus is beyond pink ribbons and awareness. With Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, we are moving toward prevention of primary breast cancer as well as prevention of metastatic disease. We have a strategy and we want to include everyone.
I urge you to join with us and become a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition today as we move closer to Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.
Are you with us?