Day 1 at the Susan G. Komen Advocate in Science Training
I just wrapped up an intense day of training with Susan G. Komen as an Advocate in Science. I have pages and pages of PowerPoint presentations with notes scribbled all over the pages. For most of the 10 hour day, my eyes were glued to the podium and the PowerPoint showing me what’s happening in breast cancer research. I sat with 50 other people and had the absolute pleasure of listening to leading researchers who are making a difference in this disease. I’m certain many people are wondering what it means to be an Advocate in Science (I wondered that too yesterday).
By presentation #2, I had my answer. Komen’s strategic focus is to reduce incidence and mortality of breast cancer within the decade. And all research grant requests will have to line up with this strategic focus. As Advocates in Science, we have the unique opportunity to help review them—not as scientists, medical professionals or researchers, but as breast cancer advocates and survivors. Pretty darn cool. I will share a couple nuggets of information that may help clarify my passion for raising money.
- The first researcher talked about her discovery of Molecular Breast Imaging. Susan G. Komen took a chance on her and gave her funding to move this forward. Seems that MBI is a very useful tool in detecting breast cancer–far better than Mammograms which BTW completely missed my breast cancer and far less expensive than MRIs. Not to mention, while the MBI looks similar to a Mammogram machine, there is no need to press your breast into a complete pancake to get the image.
- This evenings presenter has a Promise Grant—a multi-year, multi-disciplinary grant to the tune of 7.5 million dollars to study the deadliest form of breast cancer—Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). This is huge and much needed research. Many IBCs go misdiagnosed before it’s too late. They present themselves in so many ways and look much like a breast infection. Once discovered, they are difficult to treat often because they have metastasized.
These are just two of so many ways Susan G. Komen is impacting research. So if there is any doubt in your mind where your donation goes, trust me when I say it’s making a difference. Last year Susan G. Komen spent $100 million dollars on research. That’s a lot of money focused on saving lives.