Archive for March, 2014

Take the Tax Challenge: Donate Your Refund to Breast Cancer Research

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 29 comments.

Pat Headshot$8.00. That’s the average Refunds for Breast Cancer Research donation from Pennsylvania taxpayers on the state income tax form. It may not seem like a large amount, but the PA Breast Cancer Coalition has been able to turn those $8 donations into over $3 million in grants for outstanding PA breast cancer researchers working to find a cure.

We’re asking YOU to take the PBCC tax challenge this month. If you haven’t already done your taxes, look for Line 32 on the PA-40 form and consider making a difference for breast cancer survivors and their families. From there, share the message with friends and family.

How can you spread the word?

Share our :30 video PSA on Facebook and Twitter

- Tell your tax preparer about the importance of Line 32

- Take a proud picture with your tax form and email it to Info@PABreastCancer.org!
Every time you share the PBCC’s message, you’ll be entered to win a free registration to our 2014 Conference in Harrisburg!

Will YOU help us spread the word? Share our :30 video and make a difference beyond your donation. Thank you for supporting outstanding breast cancer researchers in Pennsylvania.

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PBCC Volunteer to Celebrate 10 Years of Breast Cancer Survivorship

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 28 comments.

Lark-Survivor-Photo-2Lark McCarley, Lancaster County

In August I will be celebrating 10 years cancer free!

In January 2004, I was 48 years old and had been married for just 5 months.  I finally had the back surgery that I had put off for years and thought my life would be greatly improved. After much pain and rehab, by April I was happy I had decided to have the surgery. I went for my annual physical and mammogram which both had great results, but two weeks later my husband discovered a large lump on one of my breasts. I returned to the doctor who said it had to be a cyst but ordered an ultrasound to be sure, and again the results appeared clean. After insisting on more tests, I was sent to a surgeon who did a biopsy. I had to wait three weeks for an appointment due to medical personnel’s vacations. On the day I received the results, I was having my feet massaged by a nail technician, my husband was holding one hand, and I had a glass of wine in the other. When they told me it was cancer, I never before had such a feeling of dread. I knew the future would bring a lot of bumps in the road, but also that we could handle it.

They thought a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy would be sufficient. However, the results from that showed the margins were not clean and identified additional issues. My invasive ductal carinoma was grade 3, fast growing, and there was also in-situ carcinoma so they recommended a mastectomy. I went with a double mastectomy since this had been so hard to diagnose, and I chose to have implants. The surgery was scheduled in August, with chemo starting in October. The final procedure was when I received the implants in March 2005 almost a year from the original diagnosis.
Many wonderful things came from that year of surgical procedures and chemo.  I met another woman who had breast cancer and who, like me, grown up in Nashville and recently moved to Pennsylvania. She will always be my “bosom buddy”.   When I discovered the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, I signed her up to receive a Friends Like Me care package.  It was a nice surprise when I got mine and I wanted to share it with others. In fact that is why last October I volunteered to help a very good friend Marc Crusemire with his “Bridges for Boobies” scooter tour in Lancaster to benefit breast cancer awareness. I recommended the proceeds go to the PBCC and we had a very successful first year. I am excited that Strasburg Scooters is having another “Bridges for Boobies” tour on October 7th.  It’s a great day spent with guided scooter tours through the back roads of Lancaster County.

The biggest gift I was given that year was the outpouring of love and support. I received prayer shawls from churches I was not familiar with, and cards from elementary school kids that I did not know. Friends from all over the country flew in to help my husband Michael run our Bed and Breakfast, Lovelace Manor, so that he could go to chemo and other appointments with me. The other B&Bs in Lancaster County were amazing. For months they brought food for us, food for our guests and many other wonderful and thoughtful things.
The surgeries, the pain, the nausea, the hair loss, the weight gain and the cloudy memory were the bumps in the road. But the journey was well worth it for all of the positive experiences which made me a stronger, grateful, motivated and happier person.

“67 Women, 67 Counties” to Kick-Off Spring Tour in Clarion County

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 22 comments.

Clarion-Hospital-PicThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition will bring its photo exhibit featuring women who have battled breast cancer in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 Counties to the Cancer Center at Clarion Hospital on March 27.  The exhibit called 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania, shares the incredible stories of brave Pennsylvania women and encourages attendees to take action when it comes to early detection.  Want to attend?

The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception at the Cancer Center on Thursday, March 27 at 5:30pm.  Join us for a night honoring survivors including a short speaking program, refreshments and inspiration.   Please RSVP to let us know you are attending by emailing Stacy@PABreastCancer.org.  This is a FREE reception and is open to the public! The exhibit will be on display through April 6.

For more information, click here.

NHL Alums, Community, Face Off to Fight Cancer in PA

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 133 comments.

NHL-Alumni-gameMore than a dozen former hockey pros took to the ice in honor of breast cancer survivors in Pennsylvania this month.  Players including Francois Leroux, Craig Muni, Andrew Cassels, Olympic gold medalist Lori Dupuis and many other alums had a chance to take on local amateur hockey enthusiasts in the annual NHL Alumni Challenge at Palmyra’s Klick Lewis Arena.  The event has raised thousands of dollars to support the PBCC.

Check out pictures from the event here.
If you would like to host an event for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, contact Kristen Snoke, Community Outreach Director, Kristen@PABreastCancer.org, (717) 769-2301.

Do You Need Time Off from Work for Breast Cancer Treatment?

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 28 comments.

Woman-and-doctor-chemoThe Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also requires that their group health benefits be maintained during the leave. Employees are eligible for leave if they have worked for their employer at least 12 months, at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

The U.S. Department of Labor website  provides details on the law and what your rights are under the Family Medical Leave Act. You can find more information and a sample letter requesting time off under FMLA in the toolkit section of the PBCC insurance guidebook “Breast Cancer: Covered or Not?”.

You can download the PBCC insurance guidebook for FREE here.

Time to Quit? Young Smokers Linked to Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:23 am | 33 comments.

Woman-Smoking-photoA study recently published in the journal Cancer conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that younger women who have smoked a pack a day for the last 10 years have a 60% higher risk of developing estrogen-positive breast cancer.

In contrast, the study did not find a link between smoking and triple-negative breast cancer, which is a type of breast cancer that does not have estrogen and progesterone receptors.  The study included nearly 1,000 cancer-free women, as well as 778 people with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and 182 people with triple-negative breast cancer between ages 20 and 44 who were diagnosed between 2004 and 2010.

Read an article on the complete study here.

Breast Cancer Mortality Rate Shows Troubling Racial Divide

Posted By on March 14th, 2014 at 8:22 am | 40 comments.

African-American-Woman-StudyNew research shows that African-American women are, on average, 40 times more likely to lose their battle with breast cancer than white women.  The startling study examined findings compiled by experts at the Sinai Urban Health Institute in Chicago and the Avon Foundation for Women.  The reason?

Researchers analyzed data from black women in 41 cities across the country with breast cancer. Researchers say the difference can be explained by lower access to health screening, lower-quality screening, less access to treatment and low-quality treatment for African-American women in urban environments.

The study also found that death rates for both black and white women with breast cancer have declined over the past 20 years, but death rates among white women saw a much more dramatic decrease over that same time period.

Read the complete article here.

Fall Intern Wanted!

Posted By on March 7th, 2014 at 2:42 pm | 71 comments.

PBCC LOGOPA Breast Cancer Coalition Internship

The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) is currently looking for an intern to work in its Lebanon office this Fall (August – December 2014).  The PBCC offers a wide range of experience in all aspects of non-profit operations and programming, public relations and event management through assisting the Executive Director and other staff as needed.

Some duties may include, but not be limited to:

•    Work on the PBCC’s statewide educational and outreach programs:
o    Annual educational conference
o    Refunds for Research program
o    Traveling photo exhibit
o    Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer home run derby
o    Grassroots Partners events
•    Interact with local event committees, state agencies, legislative contacts, and media
•    Write press releases and articles as needed
•    Assist with design and graphics work

Applicants should possess:
•    Excellent written and verbal communication skills
•    Experience using Microsoft Office (Adobe Photoshop and InDesign experience preferred, but not required)
•    Ability to work independently and in a team setting
•    Excellent project management and organizational skills

The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition is located at 2397 Quentin Road, Suite B, Lebanon, PA.  It was founded in 1993 and is the only statewide grassroots organization in Pennsylvania that speaks to and for breast cancer survivors.

The PBCC’s mission is to find a cure for breast cancer and to improve the quality of breast cancer education, research and outreach in the state.

Go to www.pabreastcancer.org  to learn more about the organization.

Contact name:      Jennifer Pensinger,  Executive Director
Jennifer@PABreastCancer.org
717-769-2303

This position has flexible hours. It can be for up to 28 hours per week and pays $10 an hour.   The length of the internship will vary depending on the student.