Who doesn’t start the New Year thinking about all their plans for the next 12 months, all the things they hope to do differently, all the changes they hope to see within themselves and in the world around them?

In that spirit, all of us here at the Foundation have been going through files, cleaning off our desks, and preparing ourselves to greet the amazing events and opportunities 2009 has in store.

First up, is the Foundation’s 6th International Symposium on the Intraductal Approach to Breast Cancer, which will be held in Santa Monica, Calif., February 19-21.

Virtually all breast cancer begins inside the breast ducts—the passages inside the breast that milk travels through to get to the nipple. The intraductal approach encompasses new technologies that allow researchers to see and assess what is happening inside the ducts. And, as you’ve probably heard me say many times, I believe it is this approach that will bring us to the end of this disease. And I can’t wait to be in room with more than 100 clinicians and researchers from around the world who feel the same way! And I can’t wait to tell you about all that we have learned since our 2006 Symposium and update you on how the intraductal approach is changing the ways we think about breast cancer risk assessment, prevention, detection, and treatment.

Also, if you live in the Los Angeles area, I’d like to offer you a personal invitation to the free Public Panel the Foundation will be holding in conjunction with the Symposium on Saturday, February 21, at 6:00pm at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica. The Public Panel will provide a unique opportunity for breast cancer advocates, women with breast cancer, and the general public to learn more about the intraductal approach. (You’ll also be the first to hear what I think of the latest research presented at the Symposium!) In addition, the Public Panel will provide an opportunity for you to ask your breast-cancer related questions. Family members and friends are welcome. To RSVP, click here.

I’m thrilled that we are starting 2009 with more than 265,000 Army of Women volunteers. But we need more! That’s why recruiting 250,000 more women by June 2009 is at the top of my list of New Year’s Resolutions. So, if you haven’t yet done so, sign up for the Army of Women today! And tell your friends and family members to do so as well. You can send them an email here. Help me make sure I keep this resolution!

What else made my top five?
2. Exercise more.
3. Play the piano more.
4. Meditate everyday.
5. Make sure I make space for fun.

One last thing: As you know, the Army of Women has attracted quite a lot of media attention. Well, now we’ve won our first award. Earlier this month, we received the Most Innovative Health Charity category in PETA’s sixth annual Proggy Awards for teaming up with Avon to develop an initiative that will help researchers design and conduct studies on women—not animals—so that we can get the answers we need to end this disease. Proggy is short for “progress” and that’s exactly what I want to see happen!

Let’s make this the year we end breast cancer once and for all! Your daughters, nieces, and granddaughters will thank you!

Best Wishes for 2009!

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