With Thanksgiving just around the corner, if you are anything like me, you’ve probably found yourself thinking about the people in your life who matter mostâ€”friends, family members, the neighbor down the street who always takes the time to stop and ask how you are.
This year there are some new people on my list: the 250,000 women who have joined the Love/Avon Army of Women, and who are helping me show scientists that women throughout the United States are ready and willing to take part in the research that is necessary to go beyond a cure and end this disease in our lifetime.
The enthusiasm these women have shown for this initiative is amazingâ€”just take a look at the comments left on the Army of Women blog. And it was quickly evidenced when we sent out our first “Call to Action” on behalf of the Sister Study, which is recruiting the sisters of women who had breast cancer to learn more about how environment and genes affect breast cancer risk. Their goal is to recruit 50,000 women; they told us they needed just 5000 more, and that they specifically needed African American women, Latinas, and white women with only a high school education. Amazingly, more than 2,200 members of the Army of Women not only fit that description but signed up for the Sister Study within 24 hours. The Sister Study researchers were ecstaticâ€”and so were we!
You can certainly bet I will be bragging about these wonderful women when we formally announce the Army of Women’s partnership with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) at a press conference at the AACR’s International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research in Alexandria, Virginia. The AACR, an internationally respected organization, will be serving as our official scientific collaborator.
They will also be encouraging their members working in the field of breast cancer prevention research to become involved as researchers and as members of the Army of Women and to support our projectâ€”which will be critical to our success. We will be hosting a similar press conference at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, taking place December 10â€“14, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. The Army of Women will be sharing a booth with AACR at the Symposium, and if you will be in San Antonio, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello. As I did last year, I’ll be posting my thoughts about the studies presented at San Antonio on the Foundation’s blog. So be sure to visit the blog to get the latest news, leave a comment, or post a question.