Without question, 2008 has been the most rewarding year of my life. One after another, so many of my dreams have come to fruition. The most amazing event, by far, was the launch of the Love/Avon Army of Women  in October. As of today, nearly 260,000 women have joined the Army of Women. If you have not signed up yet, go to www.armyofwomen.org and do so TODAY!

What else made this year so amazing?

  • Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, we moved to new offices in Santa Monica, allowing us to expand our research program.
  • We received a $1.2 million grant from the Avon Foundation to develop and test a device, similar to a dipstick, which could be used to determine whether a premenopausal woman is at higher risk for developing breast cancer.
  • We received an $850,000 grant from the California Breast Cancer Research Program to launch a groundbreaking study that has the potential to lead to new ways of treating women with DCIS.

Like I said, amazing!

In other news: I just returned from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. If you haven’t yet done so, check out our blog, where I wrote about the most important findings to come out of the conference and their implications for breast cancer prevention, diagnoses, research, and treatment.

Also, we’re gearing up for our 6th International Symposium on the Intraductal Approach to Breast Cancer, which will be held February 19-22, 2009, in Santa Monica, California. We still have a few scholarships are available for advocates and community volunteers.

To learn more and apply click here.

As I have often told you, I am in a hurry to eradicate breast cancer, and I want the Foundation to be poised to take advantage of every new opportunity that comes our way in 2009. Your support of our annual fund will help us to do just that and much more. Some of the projects your generosity will support in 2009:

Analyzing a treasure trove of more than 50,000 samples of ductal fluid, blood, and urine from high-risk women that were given to us when a study closed prematurely. That’s a $100,000 proposition. What can we learn from these high-risk women? Help us find out!

I have a hunch that we have been missing a big piece of the picture by not studying the immune system, and that we need to explore the link between chronic inflammation and breast cancer.

We have a wonderful collaborator at the University of California, San Francisco, who wants to do this with us. Make a donation to our annual fund. Your donation will give us the seed money we need to get us started. Please join me in our fight to eradicate breast cancer. Share our dream of a world without breast cancer. It can be done—with vision, energy, resources, and YOU. The Foundation staff and I wish you a joyous holiday season and a peaceful New Year.

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