Author Archive

Pat Halpin-Murphy Named Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania

Posted By on October 16th, 2012 at 9:00 am | 35 comments.

 

PBCC President & Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy was recently elected as a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania. Pat was presented with a medal and a citation by Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett during an event at the Governor’s Residence. “The exceptional accomplishments of this talented group of women bring both honor and respect to Pennsylvania,” Governor Corbett said. “I am grateful for their continued commitment to making our state a better place.”

 

Pat was chosen for this honor because of her tireless work with the PBCC, as well as her service on Pennsylvania’s Cancer Advisory Board, and co-chairing the Pennsylvania Refunds for Research Committee. She also serves on a number of national boards and commissions and co-authored Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? A Guide on Insurance..

 

The Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania was established in 1948 as a way to honor women who have shown distinguished service through a professional career and/or voluntary service.

 

Survivor Spotlight: Let It Shine On You!

Posted By on October 16th, 2012 at 8:58 am | 73 comments.

Each month we turn the spotlight on a breast cancer survivor living in Pennsylvania and tell their unique story. This month, in honor of breast cancer awareness month, we encourage all breast cancer survivors to share their experience with those around them. Let the sharing of your story be a release for you; motivate others to get the mammogram they’ve been putting off;  reassure someone in the midst of their breast cancer journey. Add your story and your voice to the collective understanding of what life is like for women with breast cancer.

If you’d like to share your story with the PBCC, please email Amy at Amy@PABreastCancer.org. If you are able to tell of your experience in 400 words or less, we may feature you in a future FrontLine or PinkLink newsletter.

2012 PBCC Conference a Tremendous Success

Posted By on October 16th, 2012 at 8:57 am | 23 comments.

For the past 19 years, the PBCC has been improving the lives of Pennsylvanians. Each year we gather in Harrisburg for a great day of educational workshops, networking and for the opportunity to hear from dynamite speakers and experts in the field of breast cancer from all across PA. The 2012 Conference was no exception. Click here for a video. With nearly 1,000 attendees over the 2-day event, we showed how easy it is to turn Awareness into Action!

The four individuals that we honored embody how the power of one can change the lives of many. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, abc27 anchor Alicia Richards, Dr. Nancy Davidson from University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and motivational speaker and breast cancer survivor Tammy Miller all spoke about what drives them to make a difference in the lives of others and how they turn awareness in action.

Thank you to all who attended this great event! Photos and recaps from the Conference will be online soon!

Save the date for the 2013 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference as we showcase “The Power of Pink” and celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We hope you will join us on Tuesday, October 15, 2013! Look for more information over the coming months!

First Ladies Help the PBCC Color It Pink in Harrisburg

Posted By on October 16th, 2012 at 8:56 am | 37 comments.

Joined by First Lady Susan Corbett and former First Lady Michele Ridge, the PBCC turned the Capitol Fountain pink on October 1 to kick off breast cancer awareness month and our 20th Anniversary year-long celebration. The First Ladies spoke at the event of the importance of annual screenings and their commitment to the PBCC’s mission of finding a cure for breast cancer now…so our daughters won’t have to.

Leslie Stiles and Leslie Anne Miller who served as PBCC Honorary Chairs during the Rendell administration, also lent their support to the event. Special thanks to Secretary Sheri Phillips and the Department of General Services for turning the fountain pink for the occasion.

Former First Ladies Ellen Casey and Kathy Schweiker also offered their support to the event, although they were not able to attend.

The PBCC is Turning Awareness Into Action

Posted By on October 16th, 2012 at 8:55 am | 81 comments.

At the PA Breast Cancer Coalition, we turn awareness into action. To us it has never been about just wearing pink – it has been about gathering advocates, survivors and healthcare professionals together each October for the PBCC Conference, assisting those who have breast cancer and qualify for free treatment with getting the treatment they need and deserve, establishing the Refunds for Research program to give taxpayers a way to fund research happening here in Pennsylvania.

It has been about creating an insurance guidebook to help women navigate complex insurance issues and bringing our 67 Women, 67 Counties exhibit to communities throughout the state; motivating state legislators to enact legislation to improve the lives of breast cancer survivors.  This is just a snap shot of what we do. In everything we do – whether it is answering a phone call or email or driving around the state in our pink van – we turn awareness into action. We hope to inspire you to turn awareness into action in your community as well.

Survivor Spotlight – Patti Kostrubiak

Posted By on September 17th, 2012 at 11:59 am | 47 comments.

At my yearly check-up in 2004 my doctor felt a thickening in my breast. I was 39 years old so he said we should get a baseline mammogram. I had no family history or risk factors. After a biopsy, I had to decide between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. I chose lumpectomy and they removed 15 lymph nodes and six of them were positive for breast cancer. I had chemotherapy from August through February, and then had radiation for 33 straight days.

I was really annoyed that I was diagnosed because I’m a very busy mom. I thought this is going to interrupt my schedule and I just didn’t have time! Fortunately Grand View Hospital in Sellersville is just five minutes from my house so I had radiation before work, then went to work and went about my day.

Once I finished treatment I wanted to find a way to give back. When I found the PBCC’s website I thought “this is for me.” I wanted to tell my story because if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. Now I represent Bucks County in the PBCC traveling photo exhibit and volunteered this year at the Take A Swing Against Breast Cancer home run derby in Reading.It was so much fun!

My husband John and I have two children. Our son Sean is 19 and our daughter Erin is 23. I work as a career EMT at Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lansdale, and serve as a volunteer firefighter at Perkasie. This is something I always wanted to do, and so did my daughter. When she turned 18 she was old enough to be certified so we went through certification together. I also love to cross-stitch, scrapbook, and go to the beach.

The best advice I got was to never listen to anyone’s horror stories. You just take it one day at a time and one treatment at a time. And keep a positive attitude! That’s the biggest thing.

Take the FREE Online Course on the Free Treatment Program

Posted By on September 17th, 2012 at 11:58 am | 58 comments.

Over 800 people have taken the PBCC’s free online course on Pennsylvania’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program, which provides free treatment for uninsured and underinsured women battling breast cancer – and YOU  should join them! The course is available for all who wish to take it, with free continuing education credits available for nurses and social workers. Click here to take it now!

Real case studies give practical examples of who is eligible for free treatment, how the program works, and the overall benefit to the women who are covered through the program. Those who take the course will have the knowledge necessary to direct women to the program so that they can get the care they need without worrying about how to pay for it.

Survivor Spotlight – Lesley Rogers

Posted By on August 16th, 2012 at 10:00 am | 23 comments.

In May 2010 while participating in a breast cancer fundraiser, my husband, Scott, read the statistic about 1 in 8 women being diagnosed and immediately asked when my first mammogram was. The next day I made the appointment for 2 weeks after my 40th birthday. At the appointment the radiologist told me I needed to have a biopsy. That was Tuesday; by Friday I had the biopsy and by Monday was diagnosed.

Based on my physician’s recommendation and the BRCA test result I had a bilateral mastectomy. While my cancer was confined to the ducts it was widespread and aggressive so I was thankful I hadn’t waited to have my mammogram. Over the next 8 months I had multiple surgeries including an oophorectomy and unsuccessful reconstructive surgeries. In March 2012 I had successful DIEP surgery at Johns Hopkins. I feel grateful to my breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Soto-Hamlin and my current reconstructive surgeon Dr. Rosson for their guidance.

I had heard about the PBCC before I had breast cancer. My company, Deloitte Consulting, sponsors the October conference. And then a couple weeks after my diagnosis I received a Friends Like Me care package. I attended the 2011 conference and was excited to see the grant given to Dr. Meyers to support his cancer research. The PBCC’s tagline “finding a cure now so our daughters won’t have to” resonates loudly since we have a 4 year-old daughter, Ashley. This year we participated in the Take a Swing against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby in Harrisburg. While participating, our 6 year-old son Tyler, asked “If I hit a home run, does that mean no more breast cancer?”

I tell everyone I am an example of why you should get your mammogram as soon as you turn 40, not 6 months later. And if someone you know is diagnosed, instead of asking “can I do anything?” offer something tangible … prepare a meal or run an errand. I am lucky to have had such an amazing support group – my family, friends and co-workers made my crazy journey a little easier.