I’m heading back from Orlando now with lots of new friends. Day two of the FORCE conference was great. We started the day with a panel of researchers telling us about lots of studies going on in the area of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and BRCA specific research. It was so promising to see all of these brilliant people sitting in front of me telling me about research they are doing to benefit me and the entire hereditary cancer community. And I know that the studies I learned about were only a fraction of the research going on in this area.
After this panel, I was completely energized and I had the opportunity to sit with a woman from Susan G. Komen and share my thoughts and hopes. I can’t wait to continue my conversation with her and others from Susan G. Komen. I was particularly happy to hear about the level of grants they are providing in the area of hereditary breast cancer—knowing that the $87,000 Ta Ta Breast Cancer raised in 08 is contributing to the tremendous research they are funding in the hereditary breast cancer—6.1 million dollars in 2008 alone.
I spent more time in the exhibit hall—bought a fair share of pink from my new friend Courtney from Pink Wings. And got to meet Lindsay Avner—the founder of Bright Pink—an organization I’ve admired for awhile.
A group of 8 of us had dinner in Downtown Disney. The number of fingers we’re holding up show whether we are BRCA 1 or 2. In the group, we had 3 survivors and 5 previvors (women that carry the gene but have never had cancer). We shared our stories over a fun Cuban dinner with a pitcher of Sangria and some Mojitos added to the mix. And most importantly we laughed a lot.
The day was packed with information, networking, meeting and connecting with new people. I even squeezed in a long walk around Orlando and Disney with my new friend Debbie and ended the evening with a “Pure Romance” girls night in. What a great day!