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Share your energy for Michigan

Every once in awhile, I use my personal blog to write about a topic that doesn’t have anything to do with cancer. Today is that day.

Earlier in the week, I attended the second annual IDEA: Detroit Conference held at the Fox Theater. The goal of the day was to bring together people who are passionate about our city and making a difference. The energy was exciting. As a businesswoman, I’m starting to see the changes in our city and in our state. I can feel the energy and the passion and believe our economy is turning around and great things are happening.

Over the past several months, I’ve also had the wonderful opportunity to work with Business Leaders for Michigan as they’ve rolled out their “New Michigan” plan. I encourage you to watch the New Michigan video and feel the energy. If you live in Michigan, venture over to the Michigan Turnaround Plan Facebook page and take a view minutes to share your vision for a New Michigan in our “New Michigan Sweepstakes”. Optimism is contagious and showing pride in our great state will make a difference. As a side benefit, you can also win $500 and who couldn’t use a little extra cash?


Brogan shines pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Yesterday marked day one of my 4th breast cancer awareness month as a breast cancer survivor. There’s a pink cast to the world, facebook profile pictures turn to pink ribbons and businesses everywhere are stepping up their support of breast cancer.

Brogan & Partners, my long time employer, has supported my journey every step of the way–participating in fundraisers, walking with me, creating my award winning Ta Ta Breast Cancer logo and just being there for me. I am honored and thrilled everyday to work for this company–the place I’ve called my home away from home for nearly 17 years. 

But Marcie Brogan, once again, you’ve outdone yourself. For the next month, our building in downtown Birmingham will shine pink to honor survivors and remember those who’ve lost their life to this disease. If you’re in the area at night, drive by the historic peabody mansion and see for yourself.  And thanks dad for capturing this great photo.  Yes, I’m one lucky survivor.

So much to share!

Oops.  I’ve been neglecting my blog again.  There’s always so much to share but so little time.  I’ve started training again—pretty short distances at this point but still takes a chunk of time.  It feels good to get back in walking mode and now that the sun is finally shining, I can’t wait to get outside.  Work is keeping me busy too—writing proposals, proposals and more proposals and working on our Brogan & Partner’s blog.  I was extremely flattered to recently be named Breast Cancer Survivor of the Month on the  And I still have my moments when I lose myself in Twitter and can’t find my way out.  If my tweet deck is up, breast cancer tweets pop up every other second and if they include links to articles or videos, I’m in big trouble.

This Saturday, I’m speaking at the St. John Health Breast Cancer Symposium.  Next week, I’ll be talking about Social Media to the Michigan Association of Realtors.  I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge in both areas through other speaking engagements.  I’m also very busy ramping up fundraising efforts for the 3-Day.  While the economy is tough right now, it’s nowhere near as tough as cancer.  If you’ve got a spare $5, please donate. 

I found a site last night that I thought might be helpful to some of my readers.  It’s from a fellow FORCE member.  She chose to have a prophylactic mastectomy and does a wonderful job sharing details of her decision-making process, the surgery and post surgery.  I was too busy going through chemo and didn’t really pay much attention to the surgery and expansion process but I think this would so helpful to people who do have the BRCA mutation and may be considering surgery.  The unknown is always far scarier.  She does include pictures throughout the process and has yet to have her final reconstruction.  Thank you to Lianne for sharing your journey. 

Happy sunshine and spring to those of you living in the State of Michigan.  Hope the rest of the country is sunny today!

Ta Ta Breast Cancer wins big!

Among the big winners at last night’s D-Show (Detroit’s prestigious advertising awards) were Dodge, Kaiser Permanente, Ford, Lincoln and Ellyn Davidson. Yep, I got my chance at being a client right alongside some of the bigger advertising clients in the Detroit area. Melissa Weber—my friend, colleague at Brogan & Partners, 3-day team walker and tent mate named Ta Ta Breast Cancer. And Dave Ryan, our wonderful art director created the perfect shirt. We loved the shirts and got tons of compliments and apparently the creative industry in Detroit agreed. This is completely the icing on the most beautiful cake. Ta Ta Breast Cancer raised nearly $87,000 with 25 walkers. We finished in the top 10 fundraisers and had a fantastic weekend. We are signed up and ready to go for 09.  Won’t you join us?


We actually printed on t-shirts but this was the initial layout



BRCA testing–it’s anything but simple

Myriad Genetics is launching a public awareness advertising campaign in Florida to promote testing of a BRCA mutation (AKA the breast cancer gene).

As both a healthcare marketer and a woman with a BRCA mutation, I’m thrilled that they are raising awareness. But I’m equally concerned. I should preface this by saying I haven’t actually seen the advertising materials but I’ve seen some press on the campaign. They quote an OBGYN as saying it’s a simple blood test. Sure it is. Most of these tests are simple but it’s the results that are not in the least bit simple. The article goes on to say: “Although no test is completely reliable, doctors recommend that all women know their BRCA status.”

Does that mean that all women should walk into their Primary Care Physician or OBGYN and take the test? Should women start doing this on their 18th birthday? Yikes. Are these doctor’s equipped to counsel women if they do have the BRCA mutation? Are they able to knowledgeably talk to the women prior to testing to discuss the implications of the test? BRCA is not something to take lightly.

If you have a known BRCA mutation, you have up to an 87% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and up to 44% chance of developing ovarian cancer. Genetics Counselors are the people that should be drawing your blood, counseling you and guiding you through the process. They have the knowledge, the training and the time to give you what you need. I only hope that Myriad is making this clear in their advertising. This test is anything but simple.






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