Archive for August, 2014

Erie Batters, Volunteers, Donors Raise Funds, Awareness During Derby Season

Posted By on August 28th, 2014 at 3:14 pm | 25 comments.

Tesco-tools-sillyThe 7th annual Take A Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby wrapped up its summer season in Erie at Jerry Uht Park on Saturday, August 23rd. Batters of all ages stepped up to the plate this year to make a difference in the lives of women and families affected by breast cancer.

Top batters included: Brandon Crum and Tyler Fisher, both scoring 425 points; Jacob Spiker with a score of 400 points; David Gnacinski scored 375 points; and rounding out our top batters with a score of 350 points were Nick Cipalla, Brian King, and Geoff Devore.

The List Family Warriors showed up big for breast cancer survivors, earning our Top Fundraiser title raising over $750 for the PBCC!List-Family-Warriors

Thank you to all our sponsors and all the batters who came out to take a swing against breast cancer with the PBCC. We look forward to seeing you next year!

Click here for photos from the 2014 Erie Derby.

Conference 2014: Massa Scholarship Fund Makes Conference Experience Possible for PA Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:51 am | 22 comments.

Pat HeadshotBy Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder

On October 13, we will welcome hundreds of attendees to our PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference in Harrisburg for a day of learning and networking. Many of our guests will be there, thanks to the Cary Massa Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Cary was a wife, a mother, a friend, a fighter and a shining light to those around her. She lost her battle with breast cancer in 2006, but Cary’s family, friends and fellow members of the ABC Support Group have chosen to preserve her memory through the Cary Massa Scholarship Fund. Since its establishment, the fund has allowed hundreds of women to attend the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference, free of charge.

Cary’s husband, Dr. Robert Massa and her dear friend Rosalyn Evans share Cary’s story and explain why they felt it so important to carry on her legacy in this way. We are grateful they have chosen to celebrate Cary’s life by giving to survivors across Pennsylvania.

Click on the video below to hear Cary’s story:

Cary's-Story-Thumbnail-PL

For more information on our scholarship opportunities, click here.

Ta-Ta Trotters Raise Tens of Thousands for Survivors & Families

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:50 am | 29 comments.

tatatrotforwebIt was a spectacular day in Sunbury on July 12 as the streets were painted pink for this year’s Ta-Ta Trot. Survivor Julie Rockey and her amazing committee, including longtime PBCC friend Cheryl Delsite, took the annual 5K walk/run to the next level this year with more than 2,600 physical and virtual “trotters” from each and every one of the 50 states!

What started back in 2010 with 62 runners has exploded in year 5, raising a grand total of $27,121.68 for the PBCC to continue our work to find a cure! This event goes way beyond being a breast cancer fundraiser, as they spread awareness and the message of hope and healing 365 days a year. Thank you to all of the Ta-Ta Trot sponsors, runners, walkers, volunteers and especially the committee that puts it all together.  We look forward to continue working with you until we finally can say “ta-ta” to breast cancer once and for all!

For more photos from the 2014 Ta-Ta Trot, click here.

Take Action. Take the Survey. Save Lives.

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:50 am | 1 comment.

Mammogram-for-PLHave you received a mammogram since February? If so, the PBCC’s Dense Breast Advisory Committee wants to hear from you!  We are conducting a survey to ensure that women in PA are receiving the information they need when it comes to breast density.

The Breast Density Notification Survey will help the PBCC to follow up on Act 86, legislation that requires mammography centers to notify women of their breast density.  Click here to take our short survey and you will be entered to win a free registration to our PBCC Conference on Monday, October 13 at the Harrisburg Hilton.  Take Action. Take the Survey. Save Lives.

Friend’s Advice Proves Life-Saving for Local Breast Cancer Survivor

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:49 am | 57 comments.

Betty-Fish-PhotoPLBetty Fish, Cumberland County

A fellow Girl Scout leader and I were talking at an event when she told me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer through a routine mammogram and she’d had a mastectomy. I had been so busy at work that I hadn’t had a mammogram for a full year. She grabbed me by the shoulders and said, “You have to promise me that tomorrow you will call and set up the appointment.”

I had the mammogram a month later. After my husband and I heard the news that I had DCIS, she was the first person I told, and I thanked her for saving my life.

The phone call confirming the diagnosis came the Monday before Thanksgiving, and I told my children before we drove home to Virginia to visit family. I told them that it’s very early and I’m going to be OK, but I decided not to tell my parents because I didn’t want to worry them. I have three older sisters, and none of them had had a recent mammogram. Just like my friend did for me, I pulled them all aside and said you have to promise me that you’ll make that appointment. They all did, and they were all fine.
I chose to have a mastectomy and had no problems. The weekend after the surgery we planned to go to a museum, and I said, “Let’s go to a dog shelter instead.” My daughter found a Blue Heeler puppy and we all fell in love with him. We adopted him on the spot and named him Ferris. He was the best therapy for everyone in the house. We were all busy concentrating on the puppy, training him, taking care of him, and he got everyone out walking him together. When he would come and lay on my chest at night it felt really good.

Now I bring it up with everyone I talk to … you HAVE to get a mammogram. What if I had put it off another year? My scout leader friend provided tons of support throughout the entire process, giving me suggestions for post-surgery and encouraging me. She’s a true lifesaver!

Betty is Director of Promotion and Public Service at abc27 and lives in Hampden Township, Cumberland County with her husband David, son Billy, daughter Nikki … and Ferris!

Study Finds Third Gene Related to Breast Cancer

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:48 am | 99 comments.

ResearchersforwebThe two genes that have historically been linked with an increased risk of breast cancer are the BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genes.  Now, researchers at the University of Cambridge have found a third gene called PALB2 that raises the risk of breast cancer almost as much as BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Many genetic tests already check for the PALB2 gene, but it was unclear to what extent this gene increased the risk of breast cancer.  By age 70, women with BRCA1 mutations have a 50-70% chance of developing breast cancer and those with BRCA2 have a 40-60% chance.  If there is a mutation in the PALB2 gene, women have a 35% chance of developing breast cancer by age 70.

Research also found that women with the PALB2 gene have a slightly higher risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer, which is resistant to hormone treatment, more aggressive, and more likely to recur than other types of breast cancer.  Official guidelines do not recommend that women have genetic testing unless they have a family history, but the principal investigator on this new research, Dr. Marc Tischkowitz, said that, “such women should consider testing for PALB2 mutations if they are negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2.”

Read the complete New York Times article on this research: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/health/gene-indicator-breast-cancer-risk.html?_r=0

Free Beach Vacations Available for Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted By on August 15th, 2014 at 8:48 am | 137 comments.

littlepinkhousesfamilyforwebLittle Pink Houses of Hope provides FREE week-long vacations for breast cancer patients and their families. Each beach retreat is designed to help families relax, reconnect, and rejuvenate. Families accepted are responsible for the cost of travel to and from the vacation site; all other aspects of the retreat are covered by Little Pink Houses of Hope.

Applications are now open for fall vacations in North Carolina, California, South Carolina and Florida. Each family is housed in their own beach housing which has a refrigerator stocked with all of their breakfast and drink needs.  Common meals are held for lunch and dinner, allowing families to meet and enjoy getting to know other families on the same journey.  During the week, a schedule of daily activities is put together based on local community donations.  In the past, activities have included, kayaking, hang gliding, stand up paddle boarding, golf, jewelry making classes, massage, fishing, sailing, concerts, carnivals, etc.
For more information on Little Pink Houses of Hope, visit the website: http://www.littlepink.org/