My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 43. She was younger than I am now. Had it not been for my doctors and for FORCE, I likely would have faced the same battle. Why was I spared? Not luck, KNOWLEDGE. In 2006, when I was the same age Mom was when she first discovered a lump in her breast, Mom and I tested positive for a mutation on the BRCA2 gene. I turned to FORCE for information and support. The information and support I found through FORCE allowed me to make proactive decisions about my health that have allowed me to raise my children and move on with my life without a cancer diagnosis, without chemo, without radition, without losing my hair and most importantly without fearing for my life.
FORCE has become an integral part of my life and my journey and I want it to be there for anyone and everyone else who needs it on their BRCA journey. I have been an Outreach Director for FORCE since 2007 and have tried to provide support to other women facing hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. In 2010 I teamed up with Dr. Ora Gordon to write the first BRCA guidebook, Positve Results: Making the Best Decisions When You're at High Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer. In 2010 I also formed a team to run the Kickin' Cancer 5K to raise money for FORCE and the Lynne Cohen Foundation (the photo above is from the 2012 Kickin' Cancer run).
This year I have joined the FORCE Board of Directors because I want to make sure that FORCE and all of its programs continue to flourish. I am incredibly proud of the work FORCE does. It not only provides one-on-one and group support to thousands of women a year, it has created and hosted 7 international conferences on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. This is the public face of FORCE that most women see. But the other work done by FORCE is equally important. FORCE in integrally involved in research to end hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, it collaborates with the medical community on research, provides information and support to the medical community; advocates for the HBOC community with all branches of government that create policy that affects the lives of our members, such as those policy makers creating the screening guidelines for high risk women that will become part of the Affordable Care Act; and of course advocates on behalf of the HBOC community in connection with the landmark case known as Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, which challenges the patents on BRCA1 and BRCA2 held by Myriad. Supreme Court arguments are scheduled for April 15, 2013 and a decision should be made by early summer. FORCE has provided evidence and briefs in support of the plaintiff's case in this matter since its inception.
None of these things happen without a lot of work. FORCE has hundreds of tireless volunteers but still needs money for research and all of our programs. This year, in addition to running the Kickin' Cancer 5K, I am committed to running the Santa Monica 5000. Every dollar raised helps FORCE save lives. It is a cause I believe in and it is a cause that needs your help. Every year I am asked "why FORCE when there are so many breast cancer organizations out there?" The answer is simple, FORCE is unique, I have seen the life saving impact of FORCE in the lives of thousands of women, and FORCE is an incredibly efficient steward of your dollars. Do we have big beautiful offices? No. Do we pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to a CEO or Executive director? No. Every dollar goes to our mission and nothing is wasted.
Thank you for visiting my fundraising page. I would be incredibly honored if you would join me in supporting this cause that is so near and dear to my heart.
PS: Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.
Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!