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.
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.
Once again, Harrisburg brought our largest Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer® home run derby with 26 teams, 1 single batter and over 35 energetic volunteers! On Tuesday, July 10th, we kicked off the 5th annual home run derby season at the Harrisburg Senators’ Metro Bank Stadium where people of all ages came out to enjoy this exciting day. Special thanks to the Harrisburg Senators staff and everyone who made this day such a success!
Take a look at our high scores and team photos from our first of eight across the state this year:
This year, you have two options for registering for the Conference. You may simply register and attend the inspiring event in October. OR you can register and raise awareness of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition through online fundraising. If you fundraise $75, you will receive a FREE pink PBCC umbrella. If you fundraise $150, you will receive a FREE pink PBCC umbrella and an exclusive PBCC totebag. *Please note: in order to receive the free products, you must raise $75 or $150 in addition to being registered for the Conference at the registration rate. If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Smith at Info@PABreastCancer.org or 800-377-8828 x109.
The PBCC presented Allan Lipton, M.D. of the Penn State College of Medicine with a $50,000 grant at a kick-off event for the 2012 Refunds for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research Campaign at the Capitol Building. Michael Wolf , Executive Deputy Secretary at the PA Department of Health, and Debbie Freer, a breast cancer survivor and PBCC Board Member joined PBCC President & Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy in speaking at the event.
Dr. Lipton was one of three Pennsylvania researchers chosen to receive a research grant this year through the PBCC’s Refunds for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research program. His research centers on metastases and whether a biomarker can be found in blood to help doctors determine which of two FDA-approved therapies would be more effective in treating the patient. The two other researchers – Andy Minn, M.D., Ph.D. and Takemi Tanaka, Ph.D. – were presented with their grants at an event held at Philadelphia City Hall in February.
With only days left to file your taxes, be sure to check yes on line 35 of your PA state income tax form to donate all or part of your refund to the PBCC’s Refunds for Research program.
October is breast cancer awareness month, which is evident when you spot the Capitol Fountain in Harrisburg in its pink glory! First Lady Susan Corbett, who produced a video for the PBCC, was joined by Sheri Phillips, the Secretary of the Department of General Services, PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy, and PBCC Board Member and breast cancer survivor Debbie Freer for a kick-off event unveiling the pink fountain at the rear of the State Capitol Building.
Turning the Capitol fountain pink for breast cancer awareness month has become an annual event. The month-long pink fountain is sure to serve as a vibrant reminder of the importance and significance of breast cancer awareness to all who see it.
Those who were expecting a day of educational and motivational workshops, exciting speakers and inspirational stories, got that and more at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference this year! The PBCC awarded an additional $100,000 grant to researcher Dr. Craig Meyers in order to further his breakthrough research that may ultimately hold the key to a cure.
Dr. Meyers, a researcher at Penn State College of Medicine, and his team were among those surprised by the grant award. His initial discovery of a virus that kills breast cancer cells in a laboratory setting was funded by a grant from the PBCC’s Refunds for Research program. PBCC President & Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy described the discovery as “what the world has been waiting for.” The PBCC’s $100,000 contribution will enable the research to continue while additional funding is sought to continue the study.
In addition to the surprise grant award presentation, the conference provided the hundreds of attendees with the opportunity to take part in educational workshops, listen to knowledgeable speakers, recognize outstanding awardees, enjoy a delicious luncheon, and browse vendor tables. Thank you to PBCC Conference Honorary Chair First Lady Susan Corbett, our 2011 award recipients, and all the sponsors, exhibitors and attendees for joining us in making history at this year’s conference!
HARRISBURG, Pa. – The PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) gave an additional $100,000 research grant to Dr. Craig Meyers and his team at Penn State College of Medicine today. The announcement came at the 2011 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference held at the Hilton Harrisburg attended by over 1,000 people. This grant marks the single-largest research contribution made by the PBCC in its 18-year history and it follows a 2007 PBCC Pennsylvania Income Tax Refund for Research grant of $35,000 to Dr. Meyers.
Through this PBCC funded research, Dr. Meyers discovered that adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) kills breast cancer cells in every stage in the laboratory in tissue culture dishes. AAV2 is a nondisease-causing virus that kills human breast cancer cells and often infects humans. Preliminary research using AAV2 to treat breast cancer cells in a mouse model has also yielded promising results but needs further study.
“I’ve been working with this significant nondisease-causing virus that kills human breast cancer cells in the laboratory because we know that breast cancer has a complex structure and differing types,” said Dr. Craig Meyers, professor of microbiology and immunology at Penn State College of Medicine.
Referring to these exciting new findings as, “what, for decades, the medical community has worked towards and the rest of the world has been waiting for,” Pat Halpin-Murphy, president and founder of the PBCC said that her pioneering organization is thrilled to be part of Dr. Meyers’discovery of a virus that kills all stages and all types of breast cancer cells in the laboratory.
“Breast cancer survivors, their families, and all girls and women and those that care for them look forward to the final phase of this research–clinical trials with humans. While that final step may still be years away, it gives us hope that we will discover a cure so our daughters and granddaughters won’t have to. Dr. Meyers’ break-through is a real-world example that research is our best weapon in battling breast cancer,” added Halpin-Murphy.
Halpin-Murphy went on to say that “each day, 32 women in Pennsylvania are diagnosed with breast cancer and over 2,000 die every year from the devastating disease.”
“We are extremely grateful to the Coalition for their generous support of Dr. Meyers’ research,” said Richard J. Courtney, Ph.D., chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Penn State College of Medicine. “The recent findings of his research group are very exciting; however, much additional research remains to be done. This grant will be instrumental in helping Dr. Meyers and his colleagues to further advance this highly promising breast cancer research ongoing within his laboratory.”
The PBCC established and oversees the Refunds for Breast Cancer Research program, which uses donations from Pennsylvanians to fund vital research grants across the state. State residents may contribute all or part of their state income tax refund to the Refunds for Research program to help find a cure. To date, Pennsylvanians have donated over $2.8 million with the average donation from taxpayers being $8. Thanks to the PBCC’s program, nearly 70 research grants have been awarded to outstanding Pennsylvania scientists.
The PBCC represents, supports and serves breast cancer survivors and their families in Pennsylvania through educational programming, legislative advocacy and breast cancer research grants. The PBCC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure now…so our daughters and granddaughters won’t have to. For more information, visit www.PABreastCancer.org or call 800-377-8828.