Maine Breast Cancer Coalition
Fall 2014 Newsletter
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Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® and the Artemis Project®
Acquiring the Knowledge to End Breast Cancer

October, "Breast Cancer Awareness Month", and beyond, is about more than just pink ribbons. National Breast Cancer Coalition President Fran Visco recently talked about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® and the Artemis Project® on NPR’s "All Things Considered". Listen to the story.

“We decided we could no longer afford to have the scientists set the agenda, and that we were going to decide what questions need to be answered.”

- Fran Visco, President, National Breast Cancer Coalition

The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is dedicated to ending breast cancer through the power of grassroots action and advocacy. In 2010, NBCC launched Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® to focus resources and efforts to the areas that will lead to the knowledge needed to end breast cancer.
The research component of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® includes the Artemis Project®, an advocate-led, innovative, mission-driven approach of strategic summits, catalytic workshops, research action plans and collaborative efforts of various stakeholders. The Artemis Project® focuses on two areas:

• Primary Prevention: How do we stop people from getting breast cancer?

• Prevention of Metastasis: How do we stop people from dying of breast cancer?

Artemis Project® participants design and implement research plans and interact through an infrastructure maintained by NBCC that allows collaborations to thrive and progress rapidly. The first Artemis Project, begun in 2011, focused on primary prevention. A five-year, strategic plan for the development of a preventive vaccine has been developed and is being implemented through the Artemis Project® for a Preventive Breast Cancer Vaccine. A research plan is in place, initial seed grants have been awarded to identify vaccine targets and begin pre clinical work, and regular meetings occur to assess progress and readjust plans.

To learn more, or to join the National Breast Cancer Coalition, click here 
Research News
The Sister Study

The Sister Study is a study of the environmental and genetic risk factors for breast cancer.

The Sister Study is conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health, of the US Department of Health and Human Services. From 2004 to 2009, more than 50,000 women across the US and Puerto Rico, who were between ages 35–74 and whose sister had breast cancer, joined this landmark research effort to find causes of breast cancer. Because of their shared environment, genes, and experiences, studying sisters provides a greater chance of identifying risk factors that may help us find ways to prevent breast cancer.

The Sister Study is currently tracking the health of women in the cohort. Participants complete health updates each year, as well as detailed questionnaires about health and experiences every two-to-three years. Research in the Sister Study focuses on causes of breast cancer and other health issues in women, as well as on factors that influence quality of life and outcomes after a breast cancer diagnosis.

For the most recent updates on the findings so far from this long-term study, visit the Sister Study website.

Meet the Volunteer

"Now that my mother is a breast cancer survivor, it is especially gratifying to celebrate her survivorship with my volunteer work."

Pam Sirois,

MBCC Support Service Fund Committee Chair, Board of Directors Chair

Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is a volunteer-based organization. With the exception of one volunteer who is also a part-time Support Service Fund program assistant primarily funded by a Susan G. Komen Maine® grant, we are all volunteers.

Pam Sirois has been volunteering with the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition since 1999. Pam brings an important perspective to her volunteer work, considering her job as the director of the St. Joseph Hospital Regional Breast Care Center.

Describe how you got started with MBCC.
"I was encouraged to join MBCC about 15 years ago by Dianne Swandal, one of the founding members. I have served as Recording Secretary and President, as well as a long-term Support Service Fund Committee volunteer."

Why do you choose to volunteer your time with this organization?
"My work at St. Joseph Hospital Regional Breast Care Center enforces daily the value of MBCC as a volunteer organization, positively affecting the lives of so many citizens whether it be by providing a contact for resources and information, support to a family with a loved one in cancer treatment, or advocacy for cancer research. Now that my mother is a breast cancer survivor, it is especially gratifying to celebrate her survivorship with my volunteer work."

What tasks do you typically do for MBCC?
"As chair of the Support Service Fund Committee, I host regular committee meetings, participate in the approval of applications for financial assistance, and write progress reports for grants we receive. I am also currently Chair of the MBCC Board of Directors."                

What do you like to do in your spare time?
"I enjoy gardening far more than housecleaning, so I'll often be found in the flower or vegetable garden with one of my three grandchildren. I also stay busy with my church and CISV, an international organization that educates and inspires action for a just and peaceful world."

Tell about an unusual or surprising fact about yourself.
"My favorite getaway includes either a beach or a fireplace, a fun book...and definitely chocolate!"

For information about becoming a Maine Breast Cancer Coalition volunteer, contact us at: or 1-800-928-2644.
Support Service Fund Update

The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition's Support Service Fund provides financial assistance for breast health or breast cancer related needs to qualified Maine residents. This includes temporary living expense support for people in breast cancer treatment. The Fund assists low-income, uninsured, or underinsured people, including those newly diagnosed with breast cancer, who don’t qualify for, or whose particular needs aren’t covered by other assistance programs.

We have helped more than 275 qualified applicants so far in 2014, and expect to provide assistance to at least 100 more by the end of the year.

Here is the story of a Support Service Fund recipient, Nichole (published with her permission):

Nichole is a 38-year-old mother of one child. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. She received help from her friends and family from a fundraiser dinner in 2012, and that paid for her fuel, rent and bills for the first year. When she sought reconstructive surgery almost two years later, she discovered that her only option was to travel to Portland for an in-network plastic surgeon for her MaineCare insurance. She had been living in Aroostook County and making a living as a self-employed hairdresser, but needed to move to be closer to local treatments and to reduce the distance to Portland for her reconstructive surgeries.

Relocation and the associated costs had taken all of Nichole’s savings, and she did not even have the money to travel to Portland for a surgical consult. She was referred to the Support Service Fund by a patient navigator in Portland. The Support Service Fund awarded mileage for travel to treatment, copays, and living expenses (mortgage and electric bill) to help her get on her feet again.
View the Channel 6 September "Buddy to Buddy" interview featuring Nichole here.        

How can you help? The Support Service Fund is only partially supported by major grants and the Maine Specialty Breast Cancer License Plate Program, so we rely on contributions from individuals or local groups or businesses.

To make a donation to the Support Service Fund or find out about holding a fundraising event, click here.

October Fundraisers for Maine Breast Cancer Coalition

Many diverse Maine businesses have stepped up this October to raise funds for the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition. From fashion shows to snowplows, bracelets to little pink dress parties, posting selfies to grocery shopping, there is something for everyone!

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, Hannaford Supermarkets will make it easy for its customers in Maine to help individuals receiving breast cancer treatment.

Throughout October, Hannaford customers may donate $2 or $5 at the register of their local store to support the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition’s Support Service Fund.

The donation program will be available at all Maine Hannaford stores.

Earlier this year, Hannaford Supermarkets made a generous donation to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition of $2,500 worth of food cards, which were awarded to Support Service Fund applicants who needed support for living expenses and nutrition while in breast cancer treatment.
Get Your Drink On With Your Pink On!
Join us at the Rí Rá Irish Pub in Portland on Sunday, October 19th, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. for the third annual Little Pink Dress Party to benefit the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition.

Includes: DJ, dancing, delicious hors d'oeuvres, drink specials, and raffle prizes!

Tickets are $15 per person and only $10 if you are wearing pink! Reserve your spot by stopping in at Rí Rá or calling 207-761-4446.

During the month of October, you can purchase donation cards at Rí Rá for $1 each, also to benefit the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition.

Rí Rá is located at 72 Commercial Street in Portland. We MBCC volunteers hope to see you there on October 19th for some great food, a great time, for a great cause!


Brighton The Power of Pink Benefits MBCC

For the fifth consecutive year, the Brighton Collectibles store at the Maine Mall in South Portland has chosen MBCC as the recipient of funds raised through the “Power of Pink” initiative.

Brighton offers two limited edition bracelets, available from Sept. 26 through October while supplies last. For each $60 bracelet purchased, Brighton will donate $5 to a breast cancer charity. All of the company’s 190 Brighton stores, including the Maine Mall store, will match this donation.

Additionally, Brighton stores are offering limited edition pink leather goods and accessories and will donate 10% of the purchase price to breast cancer charities.

Pink Runway Project Fashion Show and Benefit:
October 18, Bangor

Get your tickets now! Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month and BRA (Breast Reconstruction Awareness) Day and help Maine Breast Cancer Coalition at the same time! The first annual Pink Runway Project will be an artful evening of fashion, live music, food, and a celebration of survival and choice.

The New York-style fashion show will feature original pieces created by Maine clothing designers modeled by breast cancer survivors who have undergone breast reconstruction. Enjoy savory hors d'oeuvres and desserts from local chefs. There will be a silent auction during the cocktail hour prior to the show and live music throughout the evening.

Proceeds from The Pink Runway Project will be donated to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Support Service Fund and the BRA organization. Several MBCC volunteers will be there. We hope to meet you!

For more information and to buy tickets, visit Tickets are also on sale at the Cross Center Box Office in Bangor.

Spot, Snap ‘N Share

As part of their "Going the Extra Mile" campaign, Connectivity Point Design and Installation of Auburn announced a new social media charitable campaign to benefit the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition — Spot, Snap ‘N Share.

Here’s how it works:
1. SPOT Connectivity Point's pink van.
2. SNAP a selfie with the van.
3. SHARE on Facebook with the tag #ourpinkvan
4. LIKE Connectivity Point Design & Installation.
5. CPDI will donate $5 to MBCC!

Bonuses, too! Learn more:

Get Ready for Winter and Help MBCC, Too!

Fisher Engineering, manufacturer of FISHER® snow and ice control equipment, raised $10,000 for the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition's Support Service Fund in an October 2013 fundraiser.

Fisher Engineering is again holding a fundraiser for MBCC this October! In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, they are making available a special limited-edition pink lift arm kit. This kit is available for purchase through FISHER® snowplow dealer locations through the month of October.

For every kit purchased, Fisher Engineering will make a $50 donation to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition “in support of” or “in memory of” a person of the retail customer’s choosing.

Maine Breast Cancer Coalition greatly appreciates the generosity of Fisher Engineering.

For a complete list and descriptions of current and newly added fundraisers to benefit MBCC, visit our Donate page often; scroll down to "support a current fundraising event."

Please support these businesses that support the
Maine Breast Cancer Coalition!


Help Drive Breast Cancer Out of Business!
Put a Maine Breast Cancer License Plate on your car or truck and help support breast cancer education, research, and patient care. All proceeds stay in Maine --- 100%.
The proceeds from the plate are split equally between three organizations: 

Maine Breast Cancer Coalition for our Support Service Fund 
Maine Cancer Foundation for their Women’s Cancer Fund
Maine Breast and Cervical Health Program for their Mammogram Fund

The plates can be purchased at any Bureau of Motor Vehicles location, at most town offices, or online at
Valley of Hope:
Reflections by Breast Cancer Survivors and Their Families and Friends

In May 2007, Fish River Rural Health (FRRH) in Eagle Lake, Maine started a breast cancer support group called “The Journey.”  The idea for a book began at that first meeting after the participants heard many inspiring, heartfelt stories about courage by survivors and their families. Nearly three years later, the idea became a reality with the publication of Valley of Courage: Reflections by Breast Cancer Survivors and their Families.  

In 2014, a second book, Valley of Hope: Reflections by Breast Cancer Survivors and Their Families and Friends, was published.
Those who contributed to the book hope the stories will inspire and provide guidance for others journeying through breast cancer and their families. The powerful stories send messages of faith, hope, strength, courage and the importance of community, family and friends. The book allows readers an opportunity to connect through the stories with courageous individuals who live in the St. John Valley in Maine or have connections to the Valley. 
One hundred percent of the proceeds from book sales go directly to FRRH’s Breast Cancer Support Group, “The Journey.”

Ordering information:

To order a copy, please contact Joni Michaud of Fish River Rural Health at or 207-444-5973. Books ordered through the FRRH are at a discounted price of only $10 per copy plus shipping. FRRH is also offering a bundle with both the Valley of Courage and Valley of Hope books for $18. (For Eagle Lake area residents, there are no shipping costs if arrangements can be made for pickup.)

The books may also be ordered through Amazon.
Ride to Wellness: Transportation Assistance
for Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Services

Penobscot or Piscataquis Counties

If you or someone you know is in need of diagnostic services or has been diagnosed with breast cancer and lives in Penobscot or Piscataquis County, the Ride to Wellness program can help ease some of the burden and stress.

Penquis/The Lynx and CancerCare of Maine have joined forces to provide transportation services or mileage reimbursement for medical treatment of breast cancer, including diagnostic services, chemotherapy, radiation, support groups, and more.

Lynx volunteer drivers can pick individuals up at their home and bring them to treatment, or any service that is part of treatment. The program also provides mileage reimbursement at 21 cents per mile for those who transport themselves; also friends or family who transport. There is no income requirement.

For more information call the Lynx at 973-3695 or 1866-853-5969

The Ride to Wellness program is funded by Susan G. Komen Maine.

To find out about other resources:
The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition website Resources page provides a list and links to Maine-based and national resources pertaining to breast cancer or breast health. MBCC also lists general resources for those in breast cancer treatment who may need help with household or transportation expenses.

Great Music for a Great Cause!

Your purchase of the Pink Album directly benefits Maine residents with unmet breast cancer or breast health needs through our Support Service Fund.

This 2-CD set contains nearly two hours of contemporary music by accomplished Maine female singer/songwriters. Available at Bull Moose Music locations statewide, or visit our website at to purchase via mail.
How you Can Support MBCC's Work

Join Us!

Annual memberships are available at various levels for both individuals and businesses. Click here to join us online.

... or please consider a donation of any amount to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition. You can donate online and make a secure donation using your credit card or PayPal account.

... or hold a fundraiser: If your community group, business, or organization would like to dedicate all or part of the proceeds from a fundraising effort to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, please see the "or you can hold a fundraising event or initiative" section of our Donate page to register your fundraiser. Download our Fundraiser Guide here. Or, you may contact us at 1-800-928-2644 or
Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Annual Meeting:
November 15

The annual membership meeting of the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition will be held on Saturday, November 15, at 10:00 a.m. in Waterville. Election of officers for 2015 will be held at this time, and the budget for the next fiscal year will be presented. All MBCC members are invited to attend.
The Board of Directors' annual meeting will be held concurrent to the general membership meeting.
The meeting is being hosted by Nancy Beadling at the office of Allied Health Advantage at 120 Drummond Avenue Suite 2 in Waterville. (We will convene at 10 a.m. and plan to adjourn at 1:00. Lunch and a snack will be provided.)
Any changes to the scheduled meeting will be posted on the MBCC website by 24 hours prior to the meeting. You may confirm the date and location at or by calling 1-800-928-2644.
Please RSVP at or at our toll-free number by November 11 if you plan to attend. Driving directions will be provided following your RSVP.
We would like to express our appreciation to the following businesses that made donations or held recent fundraising events to benefit MBCC:

Dr. Christine Bennett
Fish River Rural Health
Madeline's Hair Replacement Clinic
A Special Place

Ware-Butler Inc.

We are grateful for individual donations from:

In Memory of Sylvia Knight Caven:
Harry & Patricia Buchanan
Dale & Marianne Wiley
Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Wiley 

Paula Dickinson in Honor of Pat Coffey

The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition's Mission:

The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the health of Maine people through:

  • Financial support for underserved people with breast health or breast cancer needs
  • Advocacy for breast cancer research and legislation
  • Education to promote knowledge about breast cancer and quality care
Copyright © 2014 Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, All rights reserved.

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