Hello! It’s a pleasure to meet you all. My name is Heather Cooper Ortner and I’m the new CEO of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation (DSLRF).
I am humbled today, as I join you in working to identify the cause of and ultimately preventing breast cancer. I am privileged to be here, working as a partner with the esteemed Dr. Susan Love. The DSLRF’s greatest strength is its people: the amazing volunteers in the Army of Women, our dedicated Board of Directors, generous donors, and enthusiastic staff. I am excited to partner with you as we all work together to accomplish this impressive and important mission.
So why did I choose the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation?
For me, it begins with a commitment to this organization’s mission: a future without breast cancer. I believe the possibility of a future without cancer is achievable and one that is worthy of our greatest efforts.
DSLRF’s place in the breast cancer community is unique and important. We carry the name of one of the most highly regarded experts in understanding and treating breast cancer. Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book is a key tool in empowering women (and men) to understand their disease, become active advocates in their care, and take control of their futures. We serve as a primary resource for the community and will continue to empower you through our website and other materials and programs as we move forward together.
There are many organizations out there dedicated to finding a “cure,” but we know that there are different kinds of breast cancer and the cure is seldom a “one size fits all” solution. We also learned from a Canadian study released last week that the role of mammograms for screening may not be as effective in lowering mortality rates as we originally hoped. Dr. Love shared her thoughts about this in her blog: How is Mammography Like the TSA?
All of this reinforces the importance of discovering the causes of breast cancer so that we can stop it before it takes root. Imagine a future where our daughters and granddaughters, mothers and aunts, sisters and best friends are not crippled with fear if they discover an unusual lump in their breasts. Imagine a future where we can identify the people who are at higher risk and provide them with effective prevention methods that don’t include major surgery and treatments accompanied by debilitating side effects.
This is the future I envision and I invite you to join me in making it a reality.
What can you do to help? As a first step, our Health of Women [HOW] Study needs the participation of people from all walks of life, ethnicities, ages and genders to succeed. This long-term online study aims to better understand risk factors and identify causes of breast cancer. The more diversity we have in our [HOW] participants, the more the outcomes of our study will reflect, and benefit everyone.
At the heart of our organization is the Army of Women. They are the source of passion, inspiration, and energy that act as an unstoppable force for change that will lead to groundbreaking discoveries about the causes and prevention of breast cancer. This is what you can do to help create a future without breast cancer: Join the Army of Women. We need you – real, live women and men – to participate in research projects. We need women of every age, ethnicity, and background. At the DSLRF, your involvement counts! We are more than a cancer organization. We are a family, a movement that can make the greatest difference. The DSLRF is the voice of challenge and reason to ensure that breast cancer research is addressing the most basic issues of understanding the cause and ways to prevent this disease.
These reasons, and many more, are why I’ve come to the DSLRF. I look forward to working with you to achieve our mission by building partnerships and collaborating on innovative projects.
As we proceed together, I want to hear from you. Please share your opinions, your thoughts, and your questions. I will be writing more blog entries as part of an ongoing dialogue and I hope you will continue to join me in those discussions.
Let’s build the future together,
Heather Cooper Ortner, CEO
Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation