Author Archive

National Volunteer Week Spotlight: Madelyn Rodriguez

Posted By on April 14th, 2015 at 9:32 am | 0 comments.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is able to provide support and advocacy to breast cancer survivors, families, researchers, caregivers and medical professionals through the tremendous support of its volunteers.  We couldn’t do what we do without them!  April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week, so we asked some of our faithful volunteers here at the PBCC to share more about their experiences making a difference across the Commonwealth.  Thank you volunteers!!!

Bloomsburg UniversityI first got involved with PBCC through a former supervisor. They were actually on the volunteer committee and they were able to connect me with PBCC. I typically support PBCC through our annual Breast Cancer walk that is hosted at Bloomsburg University campus. All of the funds collected we donate to PBCC. We also have our annual Hoops for a Cure in February with our Men and Women Basketball teams where we promote PBCC and donate those funds as well.

The best part I would say are the people at PBCC that I get to work and interact with. The staff is always accommodating and helpful. Whenever I need help with the breast cancer walk they are always there and if I need “giveaways”  for an event – no one ever says “no”.

The best part about my volunteer experience? I would say the breast cancer walk – we have been organizing this event for over 12 years and it’s still going strong!

Would you like to volunteer to help breast cancer survivors and their families across Pennsylvania?  Click here to fill out our volunteer form today!  Together, we are finding a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to!

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Thank you to Madelyn and to everyone involved with organizing this incredible event each year at BloomU!

National Volunteer Week Spotlight: Stephanie Lux

Posted By on April 13th, 2015 at 8:22 am | 0 comments.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition is able to provide support and advocacy to breast cancer survivors, families, researchers, caregivers and medical professionals through the tremendous support of its volunteers.  We couldn’t do what we do without them!  April 12-18 is National Volunteer Week, so we asked some of our faithful volunteers here at the PBCC to share more about their experiences making a difference across the Commonwealth.  Thank you volunteers!!!

Stephanie Lux 1In 2012, I started FASTPITCH FOR A PURPOSE, which is a fast-pitch softball fundraiser that raises money to support and promote breast cancer awareness. It was during the planning stages of this event, that I was first introduced to the staff at PBCC. When we contacted PBCC regarding the event, they were extremely supportive and responsive. This year will be our 4th annual FASTPITCH FOR A PURPOSE event and we have raised over $28,000 for PBCC. In addition to holding this event, I have photographed a few of PBCC events and assisted at the Take A Swing events.Stephanie Lux 2

When you volunteer with PBCC, you are appreciated and supported! The best part of volunteering at PBCC is that they make you feel like part of the PBCC family and they are so appreciative of your efforts. Pat Halpin-Murphy is an amazing inspiration and advocate. I’m proud to represent such amazing lady and organization.

Stephanie Lux 3Any time you spend volunteering with PBCC is a great experience, however, the FASTPITCH FOR A PURPOSE event has been my best volunteer and inspiring experience. The event is filled with an entire day of softball, and while enjoying the games, we are raising money for PBCC. This event has brought a small community together to support a well-respected organization and raise awareness in Southern York County. The event was developed to inspire young ladies and the community and I believe we have achieved our mission! This event could not be successful without the continued support of our community, family, friends and PBCC.

Would you like to volunteer to help breast cancer survivors and their families across Pennsylvania?  Click here to fill out our volunteer form today!  Together, we are finding a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to!



 

PBCC Awards Drexel Researchers Working to Find Breast Cancer Cure

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:37 am | 1 comment.

patheadshotforplIt’s not every day you get to witness real hope in action. Innovative, groundbreaking and awe-inspiring breast cancer research is happening right now in Pennsylvania. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition presented Refunds for Breast Cancer Research grants for $50,000 each to Drs. Alessandro Fatatis and Mauricio Reginato of Drexel University College of Medicine last week. Touring their laboratories and learning more about their exciting research was captivating.

Dr. Fatatis is focused on metastatic breast cancer and how to stop the cancer cells from spreading. He plans to use the Refunds for Research grant to ready his work for human clinical trials. With Refunds for Research funding, Dr. Reginato will explore new, alternative treatment options for triple-negative breast cancer.

Thank you Drs. Fatatis and Reginato for working to find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to!

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YOU can make a real difference this tax season. Donate your state income tax refund to breast cancer research by choosing “Option A” on Line 32. Help us continue our fight against breast cancer! For more information on the PBCC’s Refunds for Research program, visit pbcc.me.refunds.

Mother, Daughter Fight Breast Cancer Together 10 Years Apart

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:37 am | 5 comments.

Anita-and-Kerri-Survivor-Spotlight-for-PLAnita Conner and Kerri Conner-Matchett, Philadelphia County

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh I gave my daughter breast cancer.’” That’s what Philadelphia survivor Anita Conner thought when her daughter, Kerri was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, exactly 10 years to the day after Anita’s own diagnosis. Now together, they’re on a mission to educate and motivate women of color to get breast health screenings and treatments.

 

Anita Conner

My husband and I found the lump on my left breast. I went to the gynecologist and he said there’s a lump there but it’s not cancerous. So… you go about your business. It just so happened later that I was having some issues and we decided to have a hysterectomy. The surgeon wanted to do a biopsy on the lump and that’s when we learned I had advanced stage breast cancer. Over 18 months had passed. Of the 20 lymph nodes tested, 14 were malignant. I had the breast removed and had high dose chemotherapy.

I was very fortunate in that I own my own business as a CPA. It turned out to be the best year in business. People have a tendency to step up to the plate when they’re needed. I continued to work when I could because that’s what I needed to do to heal.

After I started getting better, we recognized that in our community there wasn’t enough information about breast cancer in African-American women. We came up with the idea to reach out to the faith-based community because that’s where the women are … they are in church. We approached ten churches that are clients of ours and proposed a day we called Praise Sunday. On Praise Sunday we would give out literature to the congregation and have a speaker present a two or three minute talk. All of the churches said yes. This year is our 10th anniversary and now that has expanded into the Week of Hope, Health, and Healing. The last Sunday in September is Praise Sunday, then throughout the week there are survivors pamper parties, a health fair, and a program called Real Men Wear Pink. We close out with a concert on Saturday. It has grown into a nonprofit called Praise is the Cure. This year the youth festival will be presented in 25 sites in the Philadelphia school district, and we expect to reach 400 churches in the tri-state area with Praise Sunday.

I want other women to know that breast cancer is not a death sentence. You have to be active in your health and remember that no one knows your body better than you do.  For more information on Anita’s nonprofit, Praise is the Cure, click here.

Kerri Conner-Matchett

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, exactly ten years to the day after my mother. The lump was above my breast area. My daughter was two years old and I had br
eastfed her, so some people thought it might have been milk in the milk ducts. But because of my mother’s experience, I thought I’d better me,-madison-and-my-mom-for-PLget it checked out. It was stage 3 breast cancer and very aggressive. I was 33 years old.

I had high dose chemo, a double mastectomy, radiation, and two more years of chemo and then reconstructive surgery.

I had a huge support system. I knew it would be a tough journey but I didn’t have any doubt about surviving because I’d seen my mother make it. She was my advocate. I knew my hair would fall out, my skin would turn a different color, my nails might turn black. I also knew I was going to get a brand new pair of breasts and even a flat stomach!
My husband and I have a daughter and are now trying to adopt two more children, foster children who were placed with us. They are all a blessing. Madison will be nine in March, James is four and Haniyah is three. A lot of women have trouble talking to their children about MyMommyHasBreastCancerwhat’s happening. With that in mind, I wrote a book called, “My Mommy has Breast Cancer but She’s OK.” 
When I was diagnosed someone told me that a Monarch butterfly travels 1,000 miles in its lifetime. If a butterfly can do it, you can. Don’t give up and you’ll make it to your destination.

 

 

Free Breast Density Webinar Now Available Online

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:37 am | 5 comments.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s latest webinar, “Breast Density: What is It and Why Does it Matter?” is now available online! Thank you to our expert presenter, Dr. Susann Schetter, Division Chief of Breast Imaging at Penn State Hershey Breast Center, who presented information on breast density notification, levels, risks and screening options March 11. Did you miss it? Click on the link below to watch a video recording of the webinar:

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Cost Concerns Over Shorter, High-dose Radiation Therapy Treatments

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 3 comments.

radiation-therapyRecent studies suggest that shorter, high-dose radiation treatments can be just as effective as longer-range therapy regimens.  So, why aren’t more patients opting for them? According to doctors at Duke University Medical Center, that reason could be cost.

Duke’s research shows that fewer than 20 percent of patients with early invasive breast cancer who opted for breast-conserving surgery chose to receive the shorter hydrofractionated therapy instead of the more traditional therapy.  Researchers at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium reported that concerns over cost could be the reason shorter, high-dose therapies aren’t catching on.  They also note that about 10 percent of patients at community facilities have access to the hydrofractionated radiation and some 15 percent of patients treated at comprehensive community cancer centers received the treatment.
You can read more about short course radiation therapy in the latest edition of the PBCC’s Frontline Newsletter here.

To read more about this study online, click here.

Saddle Up! 5th Annual Ride 4 Life Set to Raise Funds for PA Survivors

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 0 comments.

shelly-mixThe 5th Annual MidAtlanticSpeedHorse.com‘s Ride 4 Life is here! This open barrel race to benefit the PBCC has raised over $9,500 in the past 4 years, spearheaded by breast cancer survivor and horse enthusiast Shelly Mix! Join over 160 riders April 25 in Annville, Lebanon County, PA for target barrel races, a rookie race and junior horse barrel competitions. It all gets started with exhibitions at 8:30am and the show at 11:00am. There will also be vendors, food and more!

Find out all the info, register, donate or become a sponsor on their website here.

Would you like to organize a fundraiser for the PBCC? Visit pbcc.me/hostevent or contact Kristen@PABreastCancer.org for more information.

Expensive Prescriptions? Assistance Programs Available for Families

Posted By on March 16th, 2015 at 8:36 am | 2 comments.

prescription-helpMany pharmaceutical companies offer Patient Assistance Programs for the prescription medications they manufacture. Patients who are uninsured or underinsured may qualify to receive free or discounted drugs for breast cancer treatment and other family medical needs. Needy Meds provides a user-friendly list of the companies’ assistance programs with details about how to apply.

On the Needy Meds website, search by the name of your prescription medication to see if an assistance program is offered.  Also, Pennsylvania’s prescription assistance programs for older adults, PACE, PACENET and PACE plus Medicare, offer low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. For more information, call the PA Department of Aging at 1-800-225-7223.