To help build the Foundation’s Army of Women, my alma mater Notre Dame of Maryland held an amazing Army of Women Research Rally with the goal of enlisting 25,000 new Army of Women Volunteers! And it was incredible!

University students, alums, faculty, staff, and supporters also came together to produce a PSA in support of breast cancer research called “What If.”

You can watch the PSA as well as the panel discussion about breast cancer research that we held at Notre Dame of Maryland in conjunction with the Research Rally.

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3 Responses to My Alma Mater Notre Dame of Maryland Recruits for Our Army of Women

  1. Carrie Henry says:

    Susan,
    I just wanted to let you know that breast cancer work has really been going on with minimally invasive treatment since the 1960’s. My mother had treatment for breast cancer in 1965 and had a modified radical mastectomy which, from what I gather , was novel for the time. She had a breast removed and some lymph nodes in 1965 but never had a recurrence and just passed away July 3 of this year from dementia but was a 46 year survivor of breast cancer! She was treated in Maryland which I understand is where you are from so you may have possibly had a hand in her treatment or the type of treatment she received.It is possible to be a long-term survivor of this disease! Please keep up your work so more women have a long life like my mom had.

  2. Hello everyone I’m Tamara Ammons and I’m a breast cancer Surivior. In 1999 I found a lump under my left armpit area and it kinda hurt a lot. I went to my primary doctor and he said “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about lets send you to a gynecologist”(at this time I’m 38). So I go she tells me it’s just swollen lymphs and to go home and put a heating pad on it twice a day for a month and come back to see her. Well that did not sound right to me so I went back to my primary doctor and told him I need this to be biospsied ASAP. He said “you’re ok come back in a month and We can check it again.” I wasn’t going to leave the office without knowing if it was cancer. So finally they sent me to a Pathologist to biopsy my arm pit it was a tense time. Results that day came back positive for breast cancer in the lump of my armpit here comes the tricky part that makes me a little Different. When they started doing all the testing which happened so fast The first test was an MRI scan that came up with NOTHING. NO TUMOR. It’s called an ‘unknown primary’ never found the source of it but 4 lymphs were full of the big C. This is what they did after Chemo: They took out 14 more lymphs that were clean and had not spread. Which was good news. Still inside of me I’m going crazy. Chemo was the first thing we did to kill all the cancer in the armpit that happened within the 12 days the cancer was gone. And my hair started to fall out: So I had my first bald head! Next step Radiation: 30 rounds of radiation this was my left breast. So at the time in 2000 the suggestion of removing my breast was not talked about and I said nothing. I wanted to keep that boob naturally.!!! The history of breast cancer in my family: My 1st family ‘s history I don’t think first cousins fall under first family, there was 1 person my 1st cousin on my dad ‘s side had breast cancer young at age 30. She’s the reason I started doing mammogram’s at 30! She died from it at about 39.Her mother also had breast cancer and her grandmother but not my Mon or grandmother’s or aunt’s so now I’m done with treatment…. ,I’m gonna start taken a little pill called tamoxifen. 10 years later I’m taking Femera which is now known as Letrozole no side effects…….

  3. So now I’m on Tamoxifn a pill that helps with the prevention of cancer coming back in your Breast.I took it for about 2 months and I’m so sick on it my doctor has me stop taking it…. So at this time in my life I’m not gonna use any meds. I Keep going to all my appointments with oncologist , blood test ,every year my mammogram’s. And pap s’ every year. 9 years go bye.. Doctor tells me doing great in the clear. and mammogram’s are coming back good, my first breast cancer mammogram didn’t pick up cancer I found it. 10 years have gone by and December 9th 2009 mammogram comes back 2.0 cm mass in left breast seen on mammogram.. But not seen the year before, they called me in we test and it’s positive for breast cancer. Again Remember my first cancer presented unknown primary that means no tumor, no cancer ,can’t find anything now we find mass10 years later very unusual a 2.0 cm they have to be related.This time my doctor and I decide to remove my breast I had no choice. Breast was Removed on February, 03 2010 I took a test called the oncotypeD it show’s you what % you have of breast cancer coming backI it came back 46% so I started Chemo again.Chemo it wiped me out had to stop after 10 rounds I needed to do 12 but it was to much. My oncologist talks me into getting a pic line put in my Arm it makes it easy for them to give you chemo. You really have to have it straight thru the arm is so dangerous the chemo the give is so so powerful.. Well I got infected I had so many Problems’ with the pic line and one day it just fell out while doing Chemo..So they changed it to a port at the time it was the newest one out there, it goes into your chest under the skin..You really have to take care of it for infections. So now I’m done with chemo my breast is gone and they have to take the port out of my chest. And the doctor kinda starts talking about a test called BRCA1 BRCA2 she had mentioned it early we didn’t know at the time what it was and since there was no first family history of ovarian or breast we put it on the back burner, she ask me again do you want to take this test. I think primarily because my cancer presented it’s self so unusual . And at the end of my treatment I forgot about the test and so did Dr. Ku While all this is happening my insurance is running out because I lost my job . My FMLA Family leave time ran out I stayed out of work to long past there time to keep me as a employee(. Getting treatment )..So now I apply for Medi-cal another night mare. Everything I still need to do was not covered ,I had to get all new Doctors new oncologist my new doctor a couple appointments in he asks me if I want to take BRCA1 BRCA2 test this time I said ok. The insurance company blocked it saying my 1st family’s history didn’t have breast cancer, ovarian, or cervical ,. And I wasn’t of Jewish decent or African American under the age of 35.. But my family had different kinds of cancer but not the breast. The Doctor fought for the testing and I took the test April 25th 2010 and on my next appointment June 23rd 2010 he tells me I’m positive BRCA1 BRCA2 and this is rare ..It’s rare to have it because of our family history .I don’t know were it comes from what side of the family my parents don’t have it but one of them has got to be a carrier it just didn’t come out in them they in there 70’s and doing well,it has been passed down from generations and I got it BRCA1 BRCA2 means I have a 40 to 87% of cancer coming back. So now I will have my right breast removed and a hysterectomy. I was back in 2000 in a 2% category of cancer presenting it’s self with no mass or tumor in breast UCLA and USC have wanted to case study me for years I have not done it but I want too now. maybe when I’m done with everything . Brca1 brac2 gene mutation was founded in 1990 that was brca 1 and in 1994 brca 2 my mutation is full body cells I have a germline… so I kind of wish I knew about it back in 1999- 2000 but then my breast would have been taken at 39 both of them so I look at it as I got to keep them for ten years longer( but suffered a lot with treatment.) Because if they took them off back then I would have been kicking and screaming. I’m 50 now which is still young it’s the new four ties.. I look 39 so that’s a good thing, I do not want to lose my right breast .. I’m just battling in my head what has happened to me the depression was overwhelming because I don’t have cancer right now but to save my life I have to have these surgeries , I have so much to offer I’m not married and know boy friend by choice, but what do you do next in your mind you think who’s gonna love me get to know me, it’s so scary but you have to have therapy.. Group theraphy…I don’t want to be alone. But everyday you stop feeling like a women inside and it does effect all of us battling this beast.. But my story is to tell all women get check when you can early. Don’t wait tell your forty check your family history have it all written down.. You probably won’t be positive it’s rare un less you have big family history. but if for some reason you are positive have your children and your siblings checked it’s very important, I have 3 brother’s all younger then me, I think they will be negative because it only seems to effect maybe one or two children in a family one pare net has to also have the gene but not all siblings will have it .There are 4 of us so it’s a 50 50 chance 1 of my brother’s have it and the other two won’t….I’m a carrier so my son has a 50 50 chance of testing positive I pray they don’t have it every day!! it skip’s generation from what I’ve been reading and taking to doctor’s about now I know what I have we found the missing piece to my puzzle, and my brother’s and my son can be checked which is great it can save lives. I’m not sure how many people would want to know if they have a gene mutation but for me right now it’s gonna save my life, and that is everything to me!!!.I’m scared but I have to be strong and know I’m loved and lucky to be were I’m at right now. It can only get better from here…..Thank you for your time I hope you can use me in some studies. Love and Peace to all battling..happy day if you beat it kicked it butt and my heart goes out to all that have lost the battle …..We will beat this we will ..Tamara Ammons Thanks,

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