Archive for August, 2013

PBCC to Honor Basser Research Center Founder Mindy Gray at 20th Anniversary Conference

Posted By on August 16th, 2013 at 9:23 am | 2507 comments.

She has already accomplished what most women hope to achieve in their lifetime. Driven by the memory of her sister Faith Basser who lost a battle to ovarian cancer at a young age, 2013 Pink Ribbon Awardee Mindy Gray has created a vision for the future of cancer research. She and her husband, Jon, recently donated $25 million to found the Basser Research Center for BRCA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center. Penn’s Basser Center will focus specifically on research of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes which can increase the risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer in women who carry them.

We are honored to welcome Mindy to the 2013 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference on October 15th at the Hilton Harrisburg. Join us in honoring her many accomplishments and her dedication to finding a cure now… so our daughters won’t have to.

Click on the video to hear more about Mindy’s story, her vision for the Basser Research Center for BRCA and her message to women in Pennsylvania.


Don’t miss the chance to meet Mindy at the 2013 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference! 

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Survivor Stories: Randi Rentz – Montgomery County

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:24 am | 1859 comments.

Randi Rentz for PL

In 2008, I was packing up mementos in my father’s attic after he had passed away when I felt a sharp pain below my left breast into my rib cage. I thought I had dislocated a rib and made an appointment with my chiropractor. I was out of alignment but afterwards it still hurt. I decided to move up my regular mammogram appointment. Nothing showed on the mammogram. The radiologist said I was good to go home. I said “No, I’m not. I want an ultrasound and I want an ultrasound now.” I was 42 years old, had no immediate family history of breast cancer, but my gut was telling me that something was wrong. I insisted.

After the ultrasound showed that something was there after all, she suggested I see a surgeon to have it aspirated. I met with a surgeon who had previously removed cysts I had. When the pathology report came back, he called to tell me the cells were conducive to DCIS and that I had breast cancer but that I’d be fine.

I always tell other women to get second opinions … the more information, the better. I got five opinions! I chose to have a lumpectomy and had to have chemo and radiation. My friends gave me strength. They came to my treatments, cooked for me, did my laundry and just kept me company. My co-workers were my cheerleaders. My doctors were incredibly supportive. I also saw an amazing therapist who specializes in treating cancer patients. Speaking to other survivors in my age range was helpful to me too. That’s why I wrote my book, to be there for other women. “Why Buy A Wig … When You Can Buy Diamonds” is a memoir about my breast cancer experience. I’m hoping it will be published in the fall of 2014. I have a blog at It keeps me motivated and warms my heart when a newly-diagnosed woman says that reading the blog helped her to create her own “diamond moment.”



2013 Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby Series Ends Strong in Erie

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:24 am | 262 comments.

C Wolf and Team for PLThe 6th Annual Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby Season was one for the record books!  Batters, volunteers and faithful fans racked up thousands of points and raised thousands of dollars for survivors right here in Pennsylvania this summer.  Our teams crushed 24 home runs at 5 professional ballparks across the state.  The PBCC would like to thank our sponsors and participants for their continued support and enthusiasm in making the 2013 home run derby season a success!  For complete results and photos, click here or visit


PBCC Northwest VP Swings for the Fences

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:24 am | 1256 comments.

Lesley Ridge with Pretty in PinkThe PBCC’s own Northwest Vice President Lesley Ridge stepped up to the plate at the home of the Erie SeaWolves this summer. Her team, Pretty in Pink, raised nearly $3,000 for survivors at its first appearance in a Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby event.

Thank you Lesley and Team Pretty in Pink!

For results from the 2013 Take a Swing Against Breast Cancer Home Run Derby events, click here.

You can also see picture from our most recent derby events on Flickr.

Working Night Shift Shows Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:24 am | 172 comments.

Woman working night shift for PLA recent study published in the British Medical Journal found that women who worked night shift for 30 years or more were twice as likely to develop breast cancer than other women.  The study found no increased risk for those who worked 14-29 years on night shift, but those with more years of night work had a significantly increased risk.

The study suggested that the increased risk of breast cancer was due to exposure to artificial light.  Long-term exposure to artificial light may decrease the production of melatonin.  Melatonin is a hormone that rises during the night and causes a person to feel tired, but when exposed to artificial light, night shift workers do not produce melatonin.  A lack of melatonin can lead to an increase in estrogen levels in the body, which can trigger breast cancer in some women.

Further work is needed to better understand the link between long-term night shift work and breast cancer.  The study authors say that, “As shift work is necessary for many occupations, understanding which specific shift patterns increase breast cancer risk, and how night shift work influences the pathway to breast cancer is needed for the development of healthy workplace policy.”

For the complete article on night shift work and breast cancer, click here


Yoga for your Healing Provides Hope, Strength in Recovery

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:22 am | 1592 comments.

Yoga For Your HealingFrom surviving to thriving.  That is the goal of a new Yoga DVD produced by PA native Kate Lubenesky.  Kate has developed several instructional videos for women and men with cancer in memory of her mother, Priscilla, who lost her long battle with breast cancer in 2010. Over the past few years, Kate and her family have developed the Yoga for Your Healing series to motivate and strengthen survivors as they go through treatment and beyond.  The latest, “Thriving Yoga,” teaches yoga on all levels, regardless of experience or muscle strength.  Kate has generously donated hundreds of DVDs for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition to use in our Friends Like Me care packages for recently diagnosed women.

You can also learn more information about Kate’s family and Yoga for Your Healing online: For Your Healing DVD Cover


PBCC Launches New Online Photo Exhibit

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:22 am | 2669 comments.

Online Exhibit for PLThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition is excited to announce its latest project, the 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania Online Exhibit.  Over the past 20 years, hundreds of women and men have shared their brave stories, quotes and pictures with our traveling photo exhibit.  Now, anyone can visit to hear their inspirational messages.  “We visit many counties each year, but not every one of them.  Our Online Exhibit allows us to reach thousands of men, women and families touched by breast cancer in Pennsylvania,” said PBCC President and Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy. “This interactive site will serve as an important tool in educating women and celebrating the life, courage, hope and dignity of our survivors.”

To visit the 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania Online Exhibit, click here.

Coming soon:  Phase 2!  Look for more interactive content including video profiles from our many PA survivors in the coming months!

A special thank you to FGV Media of Mechanicsburg for designing our new online exhibit look!

Funding for the 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania photo exhibit is provided by the PA Department of Health.


You’re Invited…

Posted By on August 15th, 2013 at 8:19 am | 748 comments.

Staff Photo for Open House…to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Open House on Tuesday, September 17th from 5pm to 7pm. We welcome anyone interested in learning more about the PBCC to stop by, meet our staff and take a look at our new home in Lebanon. We hope to see you next month!

Our new address is:

2397 Quentin Road

Suite B

Lebanon, PA 17042

Light refreshments will be served.  If you’d like to attend or you would like more information on our Open House event, please email or call 800-377-8828.