Luzerne County Survivor Diagnosed at 38, Finds New Lease on Life After Breast Cancer

Posted By on August 17th, 2015 at 9:15 am | 0 comments.

Melissa Cole for PLMelissa Cole – Luzerne County

My husband Mike and I were in the process of moving in with his parents. I was loading books into a crate and bruised my chest wall. When the pain didn’t go away after a while, my husband was checking the bruise and said “Do you know you have a lump in your breast?”

I was 38 years old and had done breast self-exam regularly but hadn’t found this lump. It was deeper than I could feel but the injury may have pushed it forward. I had chest X-rays done and the doctor said you need to have a mammogram.
I went to Geisinger Women’s Imaging Center and learned I have dense breast tissue. I had a lumpectomy, 33 radiation treatments and then went on anastrozole.
My family was very supportive. We were up front with our 12 year-old son Chase. He understood and was there to help me whenever I needed him. I teach toddlers at Little Meadows Learning Center and my co-workers brought us food and helped with gas money. To this day, my friends still check on me.
My friend Barb Bowman had been diagnosed with breast cancer before me and she encouraged me to go to the PBCC Conference. She said it would help me to learn how to move forward and live my life. That conference was amazing! The classes were great; I feel like I learned so much. The vendors were a big help too. I wasn’t sure at that time if I’d have to have a mastectomy and at the conference I was able to see and feel a prosthesis and know what it would be like if I had a mastectomy and didn’t have reconstruction.
Now I tell other women not to be afraid to go to the doctor if you find something. It’s important. It took cancer to settle me down but now I know my life is my life and I’m going to live it the way I need to. I’m living a happier life.
FAVORITE QUOTE: “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Pink Daisy Project Offers Free Gift Cards to Women under 45 Facing Breast Cancer

Posted By on August 17th, 2015 at 9:15 am | 0 comments.

Pink-Daisy-Project-for-PLThe Pink Daisy Project offers short-term assistance for women under the age of 45 who are within three months of breast cancer treatment or reconstruction. The organization provides gift cards for groceries, gas, and restaurants in order to offset the increased expenses in your budget during treatment. How can you apply?

As part of the application process, your oncologist must verify your age and date of diagnosis. To receive an application, send an email to

To learn more about the Pink Daisy Project, click here to visit the website.

What Do YOU Need to Know about Dense Breasts?

Posted By on August 17th, 2015 at 9:15 am | 0 comments.

woman with dense breasts for PLSo, you have dense breasts… what does that mean? What do you do now? A website, created by experts (including our 2015 Conference Pink Ribbon Awardee Dr. Wendie Berg) and breast cancer survivors, answers those questions and more. provides visitors with a clear picture of breast density along with materials you may find helpful when talking with your doctor like a breast cancer risk checklist, a screening chart, educational videos and more. offers the latest information, images and frequently asked questions for women who may want to learn more about what it means to have dense breasts.
To visit the site for patients, click here
To visit the site for medical professionals, click here.

Fall Intern Wanted!

Posted By on August 14th, 2015 at 11:07 am | 0 comments.

PBCC LOGOThe PBCC is looking for a fall intern! Here are the details:

PA Breast Cancer Coalition Internship

The Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition is offering 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    PBCC Research Initiative
o    Traveling photo exhibit
o    Grassroots Partners events
o    Educational webinars
•    Interact with local event committees, state agencies, legislative contacts, and media
•    Write press releases and articles as needed
•    Assist with design and graphics work
•    Work on legislative advocacy for statewide legislation
•    Attend fundraising and grassroots partners events as a representative of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.

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  to learn more about the organization.

Contact name:      Jennifer Pensinger,  Executive Director

This position has flexible hour which are primarily on weekdays but could include some weekend hours depending on the fall event schedule. It is for up to 20 hours per week and pays $10 an hour.   The length of the internship will vary depending on the student.

Grab Groceries, Give Back! Whole Foods Teams with PBCC in Nickels for Nonprofits

Posted By on July 30th, 2015 at 10:58 am | 0 comments.

whole-foods-nickels-for-nonprofitsWhole Foods of North Wales in Montgomery County has teamed up with the PA Breast Cancer Coalition on Nickels for Nonprofits. The program runs for the next few months to spread awareness and to raise funds for our mission. Want to participate?

Here’s how it works:

1. Bring your reusable bags when you shop at Whole Foods Market in North Wales, PA now through September 27.

2. Mention the PA Breast Cancer Coalition at checkout.

3. 5 cents for every bag you use is donated to the PBCC’s support and advocacy efforts for women facing breast cancer!

Encourage your local Whole Foods Market to support the PA Breast Cancer Coalition through Nickels for Nonprofits. Click here to find your local store, ask for an application and get started! To learn more about Community Giving at Whole Foods, click here. Thank you for making a difference with us!

Affordable Care Act: Life Change and Your Coverage Status

Posted By on July 15th, 2015 at 12:16 pm | 0 comments.

Have you gotten married in the past 60 days? Had a baby? Lost healthcare coverage? If so, you may be eligible for a special enrollment periodHealth-Insurance-Marketplace for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment is currently closed, but life changes like a family move or new addition could qualify you to enroll for coverage in 2015.

Want to enroll?

Click here to fill out a short questionnaire and see if you qualify to enroll for health insurance coverage during the special enrollment period.  Questions? Visit or call 1-800-318-2596,  24 hours a day, 7 days a week and learn more about your options.

Conference 2015: Join us for Education, Advocacy and Action this October

Posted By on July 15th, 2015 at 11:12 am | 0 comments.

patheadshotforplBy Pat Halpin-Murphy, President & Founder

The Countdown to our 2015 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference is ON! Our staff is busy planning a day full of education and empowerment for all attendees. This year’s Conference will be held Monday, October 5 at the Hilton Harrisburg Hotel. We will kick it off in style with the PBCC Pink Party presented by Penn State Hershey Breast Center on Sunday, October 4, a free event celebrating our Grassroots Partners and survivors.

The PBCC has gathered brilliant minds in the field of breast cancer for our workshops with topics including metastatic breast cancer, nutrition, lymphedema, breast density, triple-negative breast cancer, fertility, yoga, DCIS, survivorship and more. It will be a day of learning and networking with hundreds of other attendees interested in learning the latest in research, treatments and advocacy.

The PA Breast Cancer Coalition offers 3 FREE Continuing Education hours to nurses who attend. Scholarships and travel grants are also available through the Cary Massa Memorial Scholarship Fund.



Breast Cancer Researcher? Apply Now for a PBCC Research Grant!

Posted By on July 15th, 2015 at 11:09 am | 0 comments.

Dr.-Hua-Check-PresentationPennsylvania breast cancer researchers have life-changing ideas. The PA Breast Cancer Coalition wants to help them get those ideas off the ground. We are now accepting applications for the 2016 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Research Grant program. Each year, this program offers funding to cancer researchers in Pennsylvania working to find the cause of and cure for breast cancer as well as improved treatments. Letters of Intent are due July 29.

Want to apply?

The PBCC Research Grants program serves as a catalyst for scientists working every day on cutting-edge treatment ideas for women battling breast cancer.  Grants are awarded by a peer review panel of expert scientists and advocates.

If you are interested in applying, please fill out the application and budget forms on our website by clicking here.  If you have questions about our application process, contact or call 717-769-2308.  Thank you for working to find a cure for breast cancer now… so our daughters won’t have to!