Featured Charity: Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation (by Judy)

October 27, 2011

Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation is exactly that: an organization that makes memories, wishes for those who have metastatic breast cancer, and, depending on the wish, their families.

Their mission is:

To provide an opportunity for metastatic breast cancer patients’ dream or wish to be fulfilled by providing a special time of ‘Making Memories’ together with their families, a chance that might not have become a reality without the assistance of the Making Memories Breast Cancer Foundation.

To advance the awareness of breast cancer and to educate the public about the vast resources and support available to breast cancer patients and their families.

Recognizing the huge financial strain placed on families wherein a member has metastatic breast cancer, Making Memories provides a way for metastatic breast cancer patients to make wishes come true, whether they’re in the form of a trip with their famly, a way to bring family to their bedside, or grants for publishing memoirs or other endeavors.

Making Memories hosts events and promotions as fundraisers. In addition, their website is a source of information about subjects including breast cancer facts and FAQs. Naking Memories currently has a list of wishes from people who have applied to Making Memories.

I think organizations like Making Memories are vitally important to metastatic breast cancer patients who find their finances depleted from cancer treatment and wish to make memories for themselves and their families. I plan to financially support Making Memories somemtime during the coming year. I hope you’ll join me in doing so as well.


Cross-posted to .Just Enjoy Him

Featured Charity: METAvivor Research & Support, Inc. (by Judy)

October 25, 2011

You may be wondering what a METAvivor is. I didn’t know the word until I started writing about breast cancer grassroots organizations and ran across METAvivor. METAVivor provides a definition of the word:

A person living with a metastasis. It combines “vivor” (from “survivor”) with “meta” (from “metastasis”).

From this, I found out that I’m a METAvivor. I have to say, I like that word. Because my cancer has always been stage 4 (it metastasized to the liver) and it’s incurable, the word “survivor” didn’t seem to quite fit, but I don’t like describing myself as a “breast cancer patient” either just because I’m much more than that. And I hate the word “victim” because I am in no way a victim. I live with this disease as well as I can, and if I do say so myself, I think most of the time I live quite well with it.

But enough of that. Let’s talk about METAvivor Research & Support, Inc. This is a grassroots organization that is staffed fully by volunteers. It’s describes itself as:

a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers, mostly with MBC. We created METAvivor because we believe the following:

•Support for MBC patients is greatly lacking
•Awareness of the disease is appalling low
•BC mets research is horrendously under-funded

and its mission is:

•We offer local support
•We help people elsewhere establish support programs
•We seek out speaking engagements, media opportunities, and other venues to make our voices heard
•We award a MBC research grant every year

METAvivor now has an initiative that is called “30% for 30% Campaign.” This campaign’s goal is to get metastatic cancer research funded at the level that metastatic breast cancer occurs.

On October 10th, METAvivor Research and Support launched its 30% for 30% Campaign in a concerted effort to improve longevity and quality of life for persons with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). The concept is simple: Since thirty percent of all breast cancer patients develop MBC — a fatal condition, then 30% of breast cancer research funds and 30% of breast cancer support activities should be dedicated to MBC. At present, only 2% of breast cancer research funds go toward MBC research and support for the disease is rare.

Of course, as a METAvivor who is greatly upset at the lack of funding for metastatic breast cancer, I fully support this effort. I hope you will too, and will consider donating money to METAvivor . . . instead of buying more pink stuff.

I’m just sayin’.

Good work, METAvivor!
Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

Featured Charity: Living Beyond Breast Cancer (by Judy)

October 24, 2011

Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC):

empowers all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life.

LBBC hosts seminars and conferences for women with breast cancer. In addition, it has an extensive website with subjects covered such as: Understanding Breast Cancer; Learning From Others; Events; Get Involved; and, About LBBC. There is also information about those who are newly diagnosed, those with metastatic breast cancer, African Americans with breast cancer, and Latinas with breast cancer.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer offers programs and services to women affected by breast cancer, caregivers and healthcare providers including a website, lbbc.org; a toll-free Survivors’ Helpline staffed by trained volunteers at (888) 753-LBBC (5222); national 84 cents of every dollar donated is used for programs and support servicesteleconferences; community programs; newsletters and publications; recordings and transcripts; small grants to help improve quality of life; and workshops and trainings for healthcare professionals

One thing I like about LBBC is that they tell you upfront that:

84 cents of every dollar donated is used for programs and services.

Please consider donating even a small amount to LBBC to help those of us trying to Live Beyond Breast Cancer.
Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

These are the Faces of Metastatic Breast Cancer, 2011 (by Judy)

October 18, 2011

These are the faces of metastatic breast cancer . . . . These are the faces of people waiting and hoping for research that could save their lives.

My face could be among those. Please watch.

For those living with metastatic breast cancer, support from family and friends can motivate them to keep fighting and living for the next available treatment.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

Featured Charity: Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation (by Judy)

October 17, 2011

The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded in 1999, has its focus succinctly stated on its web page:

The IBC Research Foundation is dedicated to researching the cause of Inflammatory Breast Cancer, also known as IBC, an advanced and accelerated form of breast cancer usually not detected by mammograms or ultrasounds. Inflammatory breast cancer requires immediate aggressive treatment with chemotherapy prior to surgery and is treated differently than more common types of breast cancer.

The IBC Research Foundation has been integral in my not feeling so alone in my disease. It has a Facebook page and its website is full of great information about IBC and the research efforts of the Foundation. Sections on the website include: IBC 21st Century Research; Awareness; Photos of IBC; and, Donations and Fundraising. One of the impressive things about The IBC Research Foundation is that, like some other grassroots organizations, the bulk of its fundraising efforts go towards researching IBC.

The IBC Research Foundation conducts its business and pursues its mission and goals in the latest 21st Century cyber fashion with no real estate, no building space with high rents, and with volunteers all over the country working out of their home on their own computers. We use the Internet to increase the awareness of IBC and its symptoms through our website. We use e-mail lists to connect the geographically wide-spread group of volunteers pursuing the mission and goals of the Foundation. Those same volunteers distribute many thousands of brochures throughout North America each year. We provide a nationwide toll-free telephone number (1-877-stop-IBC or 1-877-786-7422) for those seeking a direct connection with a human being or who have no internet access. We also attend many cancer conferences, mini-conferences, and symposiums each year to remain current with research and researchers, introducing many of them to the most aggressive breast cancer, IBC, while encouraging these researchers to include IBC biospecimen samples and/or patients in their research.

The IBC Research Foundation has been an invaluable resource for me. Consider donating to them instead of purchasing another pink item. As before, any amount will help their efforts. I strongly support this organization.


Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

Featured Charity: Think Before You Pink (by Judy)

October 14, 2011

I’m featuring Think Before You Pink because it’s taught me valuable information about pinkwashing and how pink products during National Breast Cancer Month, October, don’t necessarily fund the needs of breast cancer patients/survivors. Think Before You Pink is:

a project of Breast Cancer Action, launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the overwhelming number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market. The campaign calls for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in breast cancer fundraising, and encourages consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.

Breast Cancer Action is another wonderful organization, and Think Before You Pink (TBYP) is one of its amazing projects. I’ve learned so very much about the pinking of October from TBYP, including what “pinkwashing” or “pinkwasher” means. According to TBYP, a pinkwasher is:

A company or organization that claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

In addition, TBYP includes a very educational page called Critical Questions to Ask Before You Buy Pink. I use this page a great deal to help educate others about where the money for pink products is really going.

Really, folks, we don’t need pink scissors, pink binder clips, pink sharpies, or pink anything. We need money to go directly to the reputable breast cancer organizations, and that’s what TBYP is all about: getting the pink money out of corporations and to breast cancer organizations that fund research and/or help breast cancer patients/survivors.

Always remember!: Think Before You Pink! Before you buy that pink handgun, go to the Critical Questions of TBYP and see if the money is really going to breast cancer research or if it’s just another silly pink thing that a company can make profits off of, especially in Pinktober . . . . ummm, I mean October. 🙂

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.

Featured Charity: Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (by Judy)

October 13, 2011

On Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, I’d like to feature the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network, or MBCN.

MBCN was founded in 2004 by Jane Soyer and Nina Schulman. When diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, they experienced feelings of isolation from the very groups established to provide support. They felt the stigma of being a ‘failure’ in the breast cancer community. Their belief that cancer cannot be viewed as a disease from which one is either a ‘survivor’ or to which one has succumbed, fueled their desire to advocate for change.

As someone with metastatic breast cancer, I applaud Soyer’s and Schulman’s organization. It is self-described as:

a national, independent, patient-led, non-profit, advocacy group dedicated to the unique concerns of the women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.

For one thing, I’m glad tney recognize that men can also get breast cancer. For another, an organization like this makes me feel less lonely and isolated in the cheerful pinkness of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That’s because the board and members themselves are people with metastatic breast cancer. Their mission statement revolves around both awareness and education. Their website includes sections on Education, Developing Awareness, Support-Resources, Special Events, and News. MBCN even has an annual conference with this year’s conference being held on October 29 in Baltimore, MD.

Kudos to MBCN for filling a gap in breast cancer awareness and education. I applaud those who founded and/or are involved in MBCN.

Cross-posted to Just Enjoy Him.