On June 8, 2012 I heard the words I, Susan Love, never expected. You have cancer. You have leukemia.
The experience of the last six months has humbled me, given me the unique perspective of a cancer patient, and transformed my life and my vision for the future of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. I understand more than ever that a cure with all its attendant side effects is not enough; and more importantly, I believe our mission of ending breast cancer is more critical than ever and you can help me make this vision a reality.
After months of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant thanks to my sister, and all the prayers and good thoughts from supporters like you, I am happy to say I am one of the few lucky ones. I am doing well, and can soon add the title of “survivor” right before my MD! But the same positive prognosis doesn’t apply to the more than 108 women who continue to die from breast cancer each day, 365 days a year. Or to the 767 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed every day. Progress continues for breast cancer treatment, but the ultimate goal has to be prevention. It is a daunting task, but we can do it. We have to do it.
Through all the pain and suffering of the last five months, I never lost the vision of a world without breast cancer through our innovative work at the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. My diagnosis has reminded me of the urgency of our mission!
More than ever, I am in a hurry to end breast cancer and that will require us to undertake the high risk projects that have the most potential for big rewards. And it will take all of us working together! I want us to figure out what causes breast cancer—and how to end it. And that’s what sets us apart. Thanks to supporters like you, we have been pushing at the forefront of shifting the research paradigm by:
- Launching the Health of Women (HOW) Study (in partnership with the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center), the first ever online study of wo(men) with and without a history of breast cancer. We are following participants over time by collecting personal health information through online questionnaires, with the ultimate goal of identifying potential new risk factors for breast cancer in order to understand the cause of the disease and ways to prevent it. Since its launch last month, nearly 30,000 wo(men) have signed up and participated in the first questionnaire. Make sure you sign up today by visiting www.healthofwomenstudy.org.
- Launching our “Biome” study later this month looking into bacteria and viruses in the breast fluid. This has the potential to be a revolutionary study, and will give us new perspective on the role infectious agents play in developing breast cancer. We could identify a virus that can be eliminated with a vaccine! That would be true prevention.
- Growing the Army of Women Program, an initiative to recruit one million women interested in taking part in the research studies that will help us understand what causes breast cancer—and how to prevent it. More than 370,000 women have signed up so far, which has helped 67 researchers recruit for and accelerate their research. If you are not a member, sign up today at www.armyofwomen.org.
We have grown our infrastructure and our team to help implement and expand our research agenda. They have contributed to the mission and the growth of the Foundation over the last several months, setting a course for measurable advancement in 2013. And I can’t wait to get back in the game and work alongside them in the very near future.
Our work matters, but we can’t do it alone, we need you! We need you to participate in the Health of Women Study and the Army of Women and we need you to give what you can to support these innovative projects. I am proud to say 85 cents of every dollar donated to the Foundation goes towards our research programs.
Act with Love, make a donation today, and help make breast cancer history.
With appreciation and gratitude,
Susan Love, MD
p.s. You can now create your own online Act with Love donation page, and ask your friends and family to support the mission of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Visit www.actwithlove.kintera.org for more information.
p.p.s. Planned giving to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation will leave a legacy of commitment to breast cancer research that will impact generations to come. To learn more, email firstname.lastname@example.org