Archive for January, 2015

Hope for the Future: Supporting Outstanding Breast Cancer Researchers

Posted By on January 15th, 2015 at 10:30 am | 924 comments.

patheadshotforplBy Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder

Busy doesn’t even begin to describe a day in the life of a cancer researcher. Between studying cells, conducting lab trials and applying for grants, they work ’round the clock in their search for a cure.
And they need our help. Desperately. You can donate directly to Pennsylvania scientists through the PBCC’s Refunds for Research campaign. How? Find line 32 on your state income tax form and choose code “A.” The average donation is $7 and every penny makes a difference. Take action and donate your refund to breast cancer researchers in PA. Together, we can eliminate this disease and find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to.

In 2015, the PBCC will fund $50,000 grants to each of these three researchers:
Alessandro Fatatis, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology, Drexel University College of Medicine
Xianxin Hua, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Biology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Mauricio Reginato, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Drexel University College of Medicine

Join the PBCC Wednesday, January 28 at 10:00am at Drexel University as we award our first two research grants to Dr. Fatatis and Dr. Reginato! To RSVP, email Erica@PABreastCancer.org or call 800-377-8828 x2307.

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PBCC Volunteer, Advocate Finds “ABCs” of Survivorship

Posted By on January 15th, 2015 at 10:29 am | 944 comments.
Cheryl Delsite (left) enjoys sharing laughs with friend and fellow ABCs support group member Karen Byers

Cheryl Delsite (left) enjoys sharing laughs with friend and fellow ABCs support group member Karen Byers

Cheryl Delsite, Northumberland County

At 29, Cheryl Delsite had a modified radical mastectomy to save the radiation from hitting her heart.   She found the lump on her breast in 1990 and didn’t do anything about it until six months later when she went for a yearly checkup. Her doctor sent her for her first mammogram. The lump didn’t show up, so he sent her to a surgeon who thought it might be fibroid tissue. They scheduled surgery to remove it.  The whole time he was saying “You’re too young, there’s no family history…”, but then the preliminary pathology report confirmed that…  She had breast cancer.

“I chose a modified radical mastectomy, because where the lump was any radiation would have hit my heart.  I had just learned that I was pregnant and then I had a miscarriage. When I started treatment, I was told I would probably not be able to have children because of the chemotherapy. Three years later I got pregnant with my daughter Meghan. You should have seen the doctor’s face when I told him!”  Five years after Meghan was born, Cheryl got pregnant with Morgan and then the next year had her son Collin. Now Meghan is a junior at Penn State Altoona, Morgan is a junior at Connections Academy, and Collin is a freshman at Northumberland Christian.

In 2000, Cheryl’s implant ruptured. At that time insurers were only required to cover reconstruction up to six years after breast surgery, although two years later the PBCC’s follow-up legislation would lift that time limit. Her insurance company agreed to cover removing the ruptured implant, but refused to cover the cost of replacing it. Cheryl would have had to go back to wearing a prosthesis.  She reached out to family and friends for advice. Her sister-in-law was working for then Attorney General Tom Corbett. He referred her to First Lady Michele Ridge’s chief of staff. Mrs. Ridge was the PBCC Honorary Chair and she put Cheryl in touch with the PBCC. The PBCC advocated on her behalf to the insurance company. The insurer reversed their original ruling and covered the surgery.

“Through the PBCC I became connected with the ABC’S (All Breast Cancer Survivors) support group and I’m happy to travel from Sunbury to Carlisle PA for our meetings. I love these ladies. Each one of them is in a different stage of their cancer journey and they’re always willing to encourage one another.”

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Cheryl shows off her pink ribbon tattoo at our PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference.

Cheryl celebrated the 10th anniversary of her breast cancer diagnosis by getting a pink ribbon tattoo on her ankle!

On March 1st Cheryl will be at Penn State for Pink Zone. The first year she went with her daughter, her niece, a cousin and a friend. Now this year there are 40 of them going … all survivors and family members. Cheryl says they have a ball!

“I meet a lot of women when they are newly diagnosed and I tell them to be their own best advocates. Ask questions, get second opinions, and talk with survivors.”
Cheryl and her husband Kevin live with their family in Sunbury PA. She’s worked as administrative assistant for the City of Sunbury in the mayor’s office since 1996. In 2014, Cheryl volunteered over 25 hours for the PBCC at the conference, at the Ta Ta Trot, and by representing the PBCC at a number of other events throughout the state.

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Calling All Survivors! Share Your Story in our New Photo Exhibit

Posted By on January 15th, 2015 at 10:29 am | 1167 comments.

PhotoExhibitNewforplThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition is unveiling a brand new photo exhibit and we would love to feature YOU! Our photo exhibit travels the state each year, educating women and families about the importance of early detection. Each exhibit panel features real women who have battled breast cancer from each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Would you like to participate?

If you would like to be featured in our new photo exhibit, please click on the form here, tell us a little about yourself, your diagnosis and what you would like to share with other women facing breast cancer.  Send the completed form and a high resolution photo to Stacy@PABreastCancer.org or  mail your information and photo to 2397 Quentin Road, Suite B Lebanon, PA 17042.

Thank you for your interest in participating!  The new exhibit will be on display this summer!

Healthy PA Accepting Applications for Health Insurance Coverage

Posted By on January 15th, 2015 at 10:28 am | 1126 comments.

healthypapic2forplAre you a Pennsylvania resident living without insurance? If so, you may qualify for Healthy PA, a private coverage option available in our state. Healthy PA expands Medicaid insurance coverage for uninsured adults between the ages of 21 and 64 who earn below 133% of the poverty line. A family of 4 must earn less than $31,728 to qualify.

Click here to find out if you meet the income guidelines.

Click here to learn more about Healthy PA and enrollment.

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Westmoreland County Goes Pink, Unites to Support Survivors

Posted By on January 15th, 2015 at 10:27 am | 1221 comments.

Westmoreland Walks

WestmorelandteamsforplOctober was a busy month for our supporters in Westmoreland County! For the 13th consecutive year, Westmoreland Walks blew us away with the Breast Cancer Walk and “Get your PINK On” awareness events throughout their communities. In total, Westmoreland Walks raised over $42,000 for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition and our programs and services for breast cancer survivors! The PBCC would like to thank the Westmoreland Walks Board of Directors President Kathy Brown, PBCC Board Member Kelly Urbani, and ALL of the ladies who work tirelessly on this event throughout the year to make it such a success! These volunteers truly continue to make a difference one step at a time for survivors, families, researchers and breast cancer advocates! This event also inspires others in the Westmoreland County community to contribute during breast cancer awareness month.

 

Greater Latrobe Aqua Club
GreaterlatrobeforplFor the past 5 years, the Greater Latrobe Aqua Club has held a Swim-a-Thon, with proceeds benefiting the PBCC. This year, under the leadership of club President Beth Jackson, they donated $2,313 from their event! Westmoreland County has now grown to host a whole handful of annual events that benefit the PBCC! We are grateful for this tight-knit, community-minded region in Western PA!

Hand Knits for Hope: Free Hats for Cancer Patients

Posted By on January 15th, 2015 at 10:26 am | 53 comments.

bopeepsbonnetsBo Peep’s Bonnets is the creative result of a Lancaster County daughter’s search for stylish hats for her mother to wear during her chemo treatment. Danielle (a.k.a. Bo Peep) decided to fill the need she saw for winter hats by using her own knitting skills to come up with beautiful hats designs. Now, several years later, Bo Peep’s Bonnets offers a free hat to any woman experiencing hair loss through chemotherapy treatments. How can you apply?

Simply fill out the request: http://bopeepsbonnets.com/handknitsforhope/ You even get to choose from a dozen different designs!

And for you knitters, a few free hat patterns:
http://bopeepsbonnets.com/free-chemo-hat-patterns/