Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Representatives
Attend Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®
Advocate Leadership Summit
by Bethany Zell
“It’s not just about pink ribbons or awareness . . . people ARE aware of breast cancer’s path of destruction.”
As Laurel Bezanson of Portland and Bethany Zell of Caribou arrived in Washington, DC on May 3, they knew that this message would be at the core of the next four days and were excited to dig in. From new statistics on breast cancer research to a comprehensive overview of the status quo of breast cancer incidence and treatment; from discussions on how we can change the conversation to END breast cancer to the impact of over-diagnosis and over-treatment of breast cancer; from learning how to mobilize our grassroots efforts at a local level to the politics that are vital to the end of this disease, the 2013 Inaugural Advocate Leadership Summit of the National Breast Cancer Coalition did not disappoint.
Approximately 150 breast cancer advocates from all over the world came to glean leadership skills and strategies, as well as ideas and advanced learning on breast cancer. With an intentionally smaller attendance than in previous years, the advocates from Maine were afforded more intimate small-group interactions with leaders in the breast cancer community, like Dr. Susan Love, the president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and author of “Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book” and Dr. Dennis Slamon, chief of Hematology and Oncology at UCLA whose research led to the development of the breast cancer drug, Herceptin.
On Tuesday, May 7, as the summit culminated, Laurel and Bethany had the honor of sharing their experience and knowledge on breast cancer with each of Maine’s Senators and Congressmen in a whirlwind day on Capitol Hill. As a result of those visits, Senator Susan Collins has again agreed to be a lead sponsor of the Senate’s Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, and Rep. Chellie Pingree has signed on to the House version. Find out more at http://www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org/.
Photo: Maine Breast Cancer Coalition representatives,Bethany Zell (left) and Laurel Bezanson (right), with Senator Susan Collins
Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen®
Awards Major Grant to Support Service Fund
The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is pleased to announce we have been awarded a major grant of $40,000 by the Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen® for our Support Service Fund. This grant will significantly help us reach our $167,615 budget goal and will help us reach our goal to provide a high level of assistance to a projected qualified 360 Support Service Fund applicants this year.
Our Komen Maine Affiliate grant not only provides a large contribution toward grant awards to qualified applicants, but also covers our administrative costs. This allows 100% of other donations to the Support Service Fund to go directly to applicants. Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is grateful to the Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen® for supporting our work with major grants for twelve consecutive years.
To find out more about the Komen Maine Affiliate go to www.komenmaine.org. A list of all 2013 Komen Maine Affiliate grantees can be found on their website at www.komenmaine.org/grants/current-grant-recipients.
Photo: (L. to R.) Roberta Wessel, MBCC President; Cathi Cyr, MBCC Secretary; Sally Bilancia, Komen Maine Affiliate Executive Director; Carol Beagan, MBCC Treasurer; Christine Haiss, MBCC Support Service Fund Grants Chair
Support Service Fund News
The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Support Service Fund provides financial assistance for breast health or breast cancer related needs to qualified Maine residents. The Fund assists low-income, uninsured, or underinsured people who don’t qualify for, or whose particular needs aren’t covered by other assistance programs. Just in 2013, we have helped more than 160 people.
Sometimes this assistance is not just for medical bills. We help qualified applicants who are in active breast cancer treatment and need temporary help with household or transportation expenses.
Carla Dube, 44, from southern Maine, wrote to us about
how much the assistance meant to her and her family. With
her permission, we are publishing her letter:
“Dear Maine Breast Cancer Coalition,
Thank you so much for helping us with heating oil and electric as well as a medical bill. It came at a time when we were in great need. It lifted my spirits as well. I was feeling so overwhelmed. Now I’m getting on the other side of all this cancer and debt, but I feel like it’s a little more manageable. I now have a breast care license plate on my car and will continue to pay it forward.”
We are grateful to Carla for sharing her story, and wish her and her family all the best! You can learn more about the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition and the Support Service Fund by visiting us at www.mainebreastcancer.org, or call toll-free at 800-928-2644.
Fraternal Order of Eagles Pink Sock Foundation
At the Fraternal Order of Eagles convention on June 8th in Westbrook, MBCC representatives were presented with a donation of $9,975 for our Support Service Fund. The Eagles and their "Pink Sock Foundation" have been major donors to MBCC for many years.
A special thanks to the Eagles groups that have worked so hard at fundraising. In March, an MBCC representative attended the “Twist and Shoot” darts tournament at the New Gloucester Eagles Aerie. This event alone raised $7,850!
Brewer, Lewiston, Rumford, and Saco Eagles Aeries also held fundraisers, and an upcoming Brewer awards ceremony is expected to push the 2013 total donations from all these Eagles groups to more than $13,000.
MBCC appreciates the Eagles and the Pink Sock Foundation for all of their support. The Eagles strive to help people in need and support a wide range of charities. For more information about the Maine Fraternal Order of Eagles, visit www.foemaine.com.
Photo: (L. to R.) Cathi Cyr, MBCC Secretary; Betty Carter, Gray/New Gloucester Aerie and organizer of the “Twist and Shoot” fundraiser; Roberta Wessel, MBCC President; Tim Merrill, F.O.E. Maine State Chairman, Pink Sock Foundation
Great Music For a Great Cause!
Your purchase of the PINK ALBUM benefits the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Support Service Fund. 100% of the proceeds go to Maine residents in need, thanks to the generosity of PATCO Construction (the album’s sponsor) and all the talented performers.
VETERAN PERFORMERS, GRAMMY NOMINEES, RISING STARS . . . This fantastic double CD features performances by accomplished Maine female singer/songwriters!
Nearly 2 hours of music! Available at all Bull Moose Music locations, or order from MBCC at: www.mainebreastcancer.org
Save the Dates!
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Maine races will be held on:
Visit www.komenmaine.org for information. Stay tuned to www.mainebreastcancer.org for upcoming info about the “Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Conquerors” race team!
Sunday, September 8: Portland Area
Sunday, September 15: Bangor Waterfront
How You Can Support MBCC's Work
Join Us! A basic annual membership is only $15 (or more if you are able) for individuals and $100 for businesses. Click here to join us online.
… or please consider a tax-deductible donation of any amount to Maine Breast Cancer Coalition. Make a donation of $50 or more and you will receive a free copy of the Pink Album.
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, contact grants chairperson Christine Haiss at 207-938-4018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is a non-profit 501(c)(3)
volunteer-based organization established in 1992.