As a woman in today’s world, I live with the fact that there is a one in eight chance that I could be diagnosed with breast cancer. I have a sister who is a survivor. I have a cousin who is a survivor. My mother’s sister was a survivor. I have a dear friend who is now a survivor of two different kinds of breast cancer. And I lost a friend to breast cancer. “She has breast cancer” is an all too common statement heard as friends and families lament the diagnosis of women around the world.
When my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, I was worried about her prognosis. As she struggled through her treatment, I was frustrated. Why did I feel so powerless? What could I do? I enrolled in some studies for high risk individuals, hoping that the studies would help someone….Me? One of the studies was led by Dr. Susan Love, studying ductal fluid in hopes of finding a precursor to breast cancer. I thought this was brilliant and being a study participant made me feel that I was actually doing something to help women, potentially all women, escape or at least get a jump on dodging a positive diagnosis.
Speed forward eight years to when I had the amazing opportunity to join the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Board of Directors. I was so excited to be a part of the team that is looking to make breast cancer history by finding the causes and ways to prevent it. Research is a complicated process that is both exciting and frustrating. We all want it to magically uncover that hidden clue immediately. But the process is more than that! As we make great leaps forward, we also take a few steps back. It is a learning process that is like a windy road full of quick slight-rights, high climbs, and even a few U-turns, but all-in-all the destination is just that good! And what a fabulous group to be associated with as we work vigorously down this road together. The passion that resonates in each and every Foundation employee is electrifying and gives me hope.
Additionally, through the Foundation’s Army of Women program and the Health of Women Study, I have even more opportunities to volunteer for research studies. And I can get my friends involved too! Whether they volunteer for a study or join to help spread the word, the wealth of information that can be shared in this way is powerful and will further research throughout the medical community.
This is the kind of forward thinking that drives the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Foundation, differentiates it–and we all thrive on it. It’s this energy that brings a big smile to my face and makes me proud to be a part of it all.
Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation
Board of Directors – Fundraising Committee Chairperson