Posts Tagged ‘mother’

New book a compilation of stories about life and hope with breast cancer

Posted By on November 8th, 2011 at 9:54 am | 430 comments.

2011 PA Breast Cancer Coalition ConferenceHARRISBURG, Pa. – “Pink Ribbon Stories: A Celebration of Life” (ISBN 978-0-9701379-7-5) by 10-year breast cancer survivor Tammy Miller offers hope and laughter from personal stories of battling breast cancer. Miller compiled over 120 entries from women and men whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

Throughout her own diagnosis, Miller used her sense of humor on her journey. She went through her first breast cancer surgery wearing a clown nose and shoes while carrying a kazoo. For her second, she wore a pink feather boa. Miller’s sense of humor and optimism made her journey a memorable one for those around her.

Referencing “Pink Ribbon Stories,” Miller says “there are stories that will warm your heart; make you laugh; cause you to pause for reflection; and others that simply tell a story of a courageous journey through life. There are words and stories to encourage, inspire and make you smile. This book is one way I can show those who are battling breast cancer that they are not alone.”

“Pink Ribbon Stories: A Celebration of Life” is available online at or through your favorite e-reader’s store. Proceeds benefit the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.

About the Author:

Tammy Miller is an international speaker, author and speech coach. Her speaking topics include humor and healing, presentation and communication skills, brain aerobics, motivation and achieving goals. She is the owner of Tammy Speaks, LLC of Port Matilda, PA, and she enjoys helping others build their communication skills and achieve their goals in life. As an author, Tammy has written, “The Lighter Side of Breast Cancer Recovery,” about her personal journey of using humor to deal with her cancer diagnosis. And, “My Life is Just Speech Material… And, So is Yours,” is a valuable guide to discovering what to say and how to say it with your next presentation. She can be reached at

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 won’t have to. For more information, please call 800-377-8828 or visit


Media Contact: Kevin Smith
717-721-2580 x109

Survivor Spotlight – Nicole Shaffer – Lititz, PA

Posted By on July 15th, 2011 at 8:55 am | 1338 comments.

Nicole with husband Dave and their children Blair, Brandon, and Brady.

Nicole Shaffer was familiar with the PBCC years before her breast cancer diagnosis. Nicole, an occupational health nurse practitioner at Johnson & Johnson in Lititz,  participated in the annual Freshburst Race to benefit the PBCC in 2007. In December 2008 at the age of 35, Nicole found a lump in her breast.

A mammogram and an ultrasound both came back negative, but she wasn’t satisfied. That lump bothered her and she followed up with a surgeon and had an MRI. The surgeon confirmed that she had DCIS and Nicole had a bi-lateral mastectomy.

She has expanded her commitment to the PBCC, representing Lancaster County in our traveling photo exhibit, and co-presenting the workshop “Young Survivorship: Finding Your New Normal” at the 2010 PBCC Annual Conference.

Nicole believes that her purpose in life is to help other women. She was always a compassionate nurse but now where cancer is involved she finds herself reaching out even more. She never misses an opportunity to remind a woman to listen to her own body. Those initial tests Nicole had were read as negative but she knew something was wrong.

Nicole is now director of occupational health and wellness for North America with Pfizer. She and her husband Dave have three boys ages 9, 7 and 5. She loves to cook, spend time with her family hiking, biking and just being outside.

Photo Exhibit Opening Tonight in Huntingdon, PA

Posted By on May 12th, 2011 at 8:14 am | 126 comments.

York County Photo Exhibit OpeningThe PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) is pleased to work with the Huntingdon County Exhibit Committee and J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital to bring its traveling photo exhibit 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania, to Huntingdon County from May 12th through May 22nd.  The photo exhibit will be displayed in the Main Lobby of the J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital located at 1225 Warm Springs Avenue in Huntingdon.

An opening reception is scheduled for Thursday, May 12th at 5 p.m. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public. The pink van and PBCC staff will be on hand to kick-off the 110th showing of the photo exhibit. This will be our first visit to Huntingdon County!

This work of art features women from each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, along with a message about how breast cancer has touched their lives.  The women reflect the diversity of Pennsylvania, and their stories reflect the impact of breast cancer on themselves, their families and their communities.  The exhibit encourages women to learn about early detection and celebrates life, courage, hope and dignity of women and families who have battled breast cancer.  67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania is sponsored by the PBCC and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Pat Halpin-Murphy, President and Founder of the PBCC, encourages everyone to visit the exhibit.  “Breast cancer is not a rare event separate from the fabrics of our everyday lives.  It impacts our mothers, daughters and friends.  We must educate ourselves about this disease and fight to find a cure now…so our daughters won’t have to.”

“The Alliance for Breast Care (ABC) at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital is honored to host the 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania exhibit,” said Dr. Maria Pettinger, Medical Director of Radiology at J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital. “This opportunity is limited to a few locations in the Commonwealth each year. We want to encourage not only the residents of Huntingdon County to take advantage of this inspirational exhibit, but also the people from the surrounding counties to experience the strength and courage of those who have faced breast cancer.”


Has Your Daughter Been Diagnosed with Breast Cancer?

Posted By on March 15th, 2011 at 8:57 am | 122 comments.

A breast cancer diagnosis is stressful not only for the patient but for everyone who cares about her. Mothers of daughters with breast cancer face the challenge of wanting to protect their child while having no control over what is happening. This is also a time when the daughter needs emotional support from her mother.

In 1995,  Mothers Supporting Daughters with Breast Cancer (MSDBC) emerged from one mother’s experience. Charmayne Dierker and her daughter Lillie Shockney founded MSDBC, which provides free services for mothers who have daughters battling breast cancer.

Click here to order a free booklet or to be matched with a mother volunteer whose daughter is close in age to your daughter and has had the same type of breast cancer and same treatment. Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, M.A.S. has presented her widely popular Humor and Healing workshop at five PBCC annual conferences. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 at the age of 38.

Patient Advocacy in 2010: It was a busy year

Posted By on January 5th, 2011 at 10:02 am | 295 comments.

Today is only the third working day of 2011 and we have already talked with three women, all with different issues they need help with. One hasn’t had a mammogram in several years and has no insurance, another is a Medicare patient overwhelmed with co-pays for medical bills, and another is paying over $1,000 a month for insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

This past year, 75 women with breast cancer, or their friends or family members, called the PBCC for help. Often they sounded exhausted and told us that they’d already tried a number of other places and expected that we wouldn’t be able to help them. That just makes us more determined to find the resources they need.

Over half of the questions we hear are about medical bills and co-pays or mammograms. Of the 75 who called,

  • 21 needed financial help with medical bills
  • 20 needed mammograms and were uninsured or underinsured
  • 9 had questions about BCCPT (free treatment program) or other coverage
  • 6 needed help paying for prescriptions
  • 3 were breast cancer patients on the verge of losing their insurance
  • 3 had general questions or concerns about breast cancer
  • 2 needed lymphedema supplies
  • 2 wanted a referral for a specialist or a hospital
  • 2 needed to know where to get prostheses
  • 1 needed a follow-up mammogram, which her insurance wouldn’t cover
  • 1 was awaiting diagnosis and was exploring coverage options ahead of time
  • 1 was looking for information about home health care
  • 1 had questions about legal issues of an employer not allowing time off for treatment

2010 Evening Reception at the Harrisburg HiltonAlso in 2010 we added this question to our online Friends Like Me care package order form: “If this is a self-request, would you like the PBCC’s patient advocate to call you?”

Usually, we find that the information included in the Friends Like Me care package answers all of the questions a survivor may have. But all the recipients we talk with say that the phone call is one more reminder that she is not alone, the PBCC is here for her.

Shopping Resources for Breast Cancer Patients

Posted By on January 4th, 2011 at 9:02 am | 961 comments.

One of the most commonly-requested items here at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition is a list of shops and boutiques across the state that sell wigs, prostheses, and other breast cancer-related items.   For many women who have been newly-diagnosed, this is one of their first questions.

We currently have a list of about 20 boutiques, shops, salons and websites that sell various products geared toward cancer survivors.  They are located from Allison Park to Abington, from Latrobe to Lancaster, and beyond!

If you know of a boutique or shop in PA (or a website with an online store) that sells mastectomy products and/or wigs, please comment below with the name of the company or its website and we’ll investigate it.   If it meets our criteria, it’ll be added to our resource list.

The more we have on our list, the better the chances that one of these shops will be within driving distance of each woman who needs to purchase something!  Thanks for sharing your finds with the 103,000 women in Pennsylvania battling breast cancer!

Insurance Guidebook Saved Breast Cancer Patient $10,000

Posted By on December 17th, 2010 at 10:10 am | 304 comments.

When a newly-diagnosed women or a friend orders one of our FREE Friends Like Me care packages, he or she may request a phone call from our Patient Advocate (that’d be me). We have often thought that the contents of the package may answer many of her questions, so we allow some time for her to receive and review it before I call. This week we learned just how true that is.

I called a woman in Wayne County who received her package after Thanksgiving. She is quite an advocate in her own path to treatment and recovery. She has been researching prescription assistance programs and other community resources. When we were just about to end our conversation, she mentioned that part of her education was to read our insurance guidebook Breast Cancer: Covered or Not?, which was included in her Friends Like Me care package.

Of particular interest to her was the information on pages 102 and 103 about checking for hospital billing mistakes. So she took out her stack of mounting medical bills and sure enough…there was a double billing mistake to the tune of $10,000!

Her hospital acknowledges the mistake and is working to correct it. When she said “Your organization has already saved me $10,000,” it really made our day.

If you or someone you know can use advice in relation to breast cancer treatment and insurance, order your FREE copy of Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? today!  You can also request a Friends Like Me care package be sent to a recently diagnosed woman in Pennsylvania!

Year End Giving: Pink Style

Posted By on December 14th, 2010 at 4:09 pm | 52 comments.

With the holiday season here and the white stuff flying from the sky, 2011 is knocking on our door.  Many take time off from work or school to spend time with family and friends during this time.  The staff at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC) also spends time with their loved ones, but we always think about those who may have something else on their mind.

Breast cancer doesn’t take time off for the holiday or even a coffee break.  When you gather with your loved ones to celebrate the end of 2010 and the start of a new year, consider paying-it-forward to the women and families in Pennsylvania who are battling breast cancer.  Without the support of individuals like you, the PBCC wouldn’t be able to offer educational programming, advocate for legislation, or offer many of the patient resources available to new or recently diagnosed women.

Georgette Williams, a three year breast cancer survivor, has taken a stand and asked you to help the 103,000 women living with breast cancer in Pennsylvania.  Check out Georgette’s brief comments and consider a gift to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition today.