As some of you also know, this research is very important to me and my family.
My mother and I are involved with numerous research studies to continue to try and learn more about this disease. In fact, my mother was part of the very first studies using Tamoxifen which is now a leading treatment in preventing and treating breast cancer.
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in high school and elected to have a double mastectomy to be "done with it." Almost 15 years later, her cancer returned in the small amount of tissue she had left. Her doctors told her "it can't be cancer" but she was her own relentless advocate and pushed and pushed until, almost a year later, she was referred back to her oncologist who thankfully started treatment immediately.
Now, five years later, she has been cancer free and our family is so blessed to still have her with us. I think of all the things she would have missed had she listened to her doctor. She would have died of breast cancer 15 years after having a double mastectomy.
My mother has seen two of her three sisters die from breast cancer at young ages; I never even got to meet them. They were diagnosed at a different time in our country, one with little to no research and few treatment options. My hope is that by generating funds for such a wonderful local research foundation, I'll be able to help sisters and mothers in our own community. People I know, people you know, children not even born yet.