I began October covering Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention, and I would like to close October the same way. So, for today, I will be mentioning just a few incredible women who are making some amazing progress in the fight against breast cancer. Here they are, and here are their stories. These women certainly are not sitting on any fences when it comes to their relentless work on this complex subject.
Daughter-in-law of the great cosmetic legend Estee Lauder, Evelyn Lauder has been at the forefront in the fight against breast cancer for years. Her story is one of both misfortune and privilege, after first having escaped the horror of the Nazis in World War II and then marrying into a family of wealth and privilege. This woman, however, didn’t turn out to be no average trophy wife. Recruited into the Company by her mother-in-law, Estee Lauder, it was clear early on that Evelyn was a very capable and dynamic young woman. Using her position as a “Lauder” in the company, she further rallied for the cause, and has been fighting relentlessly to find a cure ever since.
She holds the title of Senior Corporate Vice President for Estee Lauder Companies, and is the founder and Chairman of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded in 1993. This month, she was honored and praised for her work in New York. The City saw the opening of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Imaging Center.
She was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post, and spoke candidly about how breast cancer grew to become a cause so close to her heart. After witnessing volunteers from the cosmetic industry doing makeovers for women with cancer many years ago, she was instantly hooked. Twice as many people were dying from breast cancer than from AIDS at the time, and yet it was a very taboo subject. No one was talking about breast cancer. That is, not until the outspoken Evelyn Lauder started speaking out! In fact, it was she and Alexandra Penney, then editor of Self Magazine, who developed the pink ribbon in 1993, which has become the worldwide symbol of breast health and prevention. And now, more than 60 million of her visionary pink ribbons have been given out worldwide.
Nancy G. Brinker
Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. That concern for others continued even as Susan neared the end of her fight. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and committed to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.
That promise is now Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1 billion since inception in 1982. As the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, they’re working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, and generous contributions from their partners, sponsors and fellow supporters, they have become the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.
Susan Love – Army of Women
Heading the Love/Avon Army of Women is Dr. Susan Love, a distinguished breast surgeon, a trusted breast cancer authority, a best-selling author on breast cancer and women’s health, and the President of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. The mission of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit breast cancer organization, is to eradicate breast cancer and improve the quality of women’s health through innovative research, education, and advocacy.
The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation for Women, a global leader in breast cancer research, joined forces to launch the Love/Avon Army of Women.
Their revolutionary initiative has two key goals:
- To recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all.
- To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.
Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Foundation
And finally, a cause close to home that I have supported each year, The Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Foundation (HBOC). HBOC’s sole focus is on familial breast and ovarian cancer. HBOC is a national organization which is devoted exclusively to awareness, education, support and research in the domain. Currently HBOC is exclusively volunteer run.
In some populations, as many as one in forty women, have certain alterations in their basic genetic code, commonly referred to as BRCA mutations. In the absence of risk reducing strategies, these women have as high as a ninety percent life time risk of developing breast cancer, and a forty percent life time risk of developing ovarian cancer. BRCA mutations are inherited, so this change in the genetic code may be passed from parents to children, putting future generations at risk.
The Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Foundation (HBOC) is a community-oriented volunteer driven charity with a tripartite mission:
AWARENESS, ACTION AND RESEARCH.
This group is headed by an incredible woman, Joanne Miller-Eisman, whose sister Marla died a young woman because of hereditary breast cancer. Joanne later discovered she herself was carrying the BRCA1 gene mutation. She hasn’t stopped working since.
Sounds like a fierce bunch to me!
Kudos to these incredible women whose efforts are truly remarkable. There are so many more women out working tirelessly day after day to win the war against breast cancer. Do you know anyone in your community making incredible breakthroughs in research and prevention? Please tell us their stories below! These women deserve all the respect.
Have a wonderful weekend ladies. Happy Halloween! We’re The Incredible Hulk, and a Canadiens hockey player over here!