Oct 2, 2008, Vol. 6 Issue 17
Starting in 1985, October was designated National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with the goal of increasing public knowledge about the importance of early detection. In that time, mammography rates have more than doubled for women age 50 and older and breast cancer deaths have declined.
To raise awareness and funds, many of our clients hold luncheons, teas and other special events featuring inspiring speakers – often, but not always breast cancer survivors. Meantime, the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure has blossomed into sailing, sleeping, golfing, bowling and cooking for the cure, to name a few. Raising money, awareness and hope are all worthy goals. This week, however, Dr. Susan Love, upped the ante. She gave women everywhere their marching orders with a plan to get the root of it and end the threat of breast cancer forever.
Dr. Susan Love
Calling for an Army of Women
When I saw Dr. Susan Love on NBC’s Today Show and the evening news this week, she had fire in her belly about ending breast cancer in her (our) lifetimes. She believes that we can be the generation that eliminates breast cancer by identifying what causes this disease and stopping it before it starts, and she’s asking for our help. As the author of the best-selling Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, and president and medical director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, she is a leader and pioneer in the field. She was one of the first to sound the alarm about the possible link between cancer and the widespread use of postmenopausal hormones.
Militaristic terms are not usually my favorite way of approaching healing, but this call for an army of volunteers feels appropriate. This is a national initiative to recruit one million women of every age, ethnicity, and breast cancer history interested in partnering with scientists and joining in breast cancer research that will move us beyond a cure.
As Dr. Love pointed out in her television interviews, research studies are usually conducted in hospitals with patients who already have the disease. “We need the normal, healthy women, who are not in hospitals or clinics,” she said, “but are going to step up to the plate — if we’re going to get these answers.” She said that when she went to researchers, they told her they didn’t know how to get women to do those things – give blood, tissue, etc. She said, “Of course you can.” They said, “We don’t know how to find them.” She said, “Of course you can,” and an idea was born. I’d say Dr. Love knows women and their ability to rise to the occasion.
The Love/Avon Army of Women is driven by two key partnerships that will accelerate research and prevent breast cancer: the partnership between Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation, and the partnership between scientists and lay-women.
Here’s how it works. Go to the website, to register as a volunteer. By registering, you are indicating your interest in learning about active research studies in need of volunteers.
You will receive email updates announcing new research studies looking for volunteers just like you. The email will detail the research project and who and what the researchers need. If you fit the criteria and you’d like to participate, all you need to do is reply to the email and let them know you’ve accepted their “Call to Action.”
If you accept the Call to Action, you will be contacted by an Army of Women staff member, who will make sure you meet the study criteria and answer any questions you might have about study participation. You will never be pressured to take part in any study. The decision to take part is yours — and yours alone. If you meet the study criteria and are interested in taking part, the Army of Women staff member will let you know what you need to do next.
This opportunity is for every woman who has asked the question, “What can I do to help?” It’s your chance to be part of the research that will end breast cancer. Sign up for the benefit of your sister, mother, daughter, granddaughter, best friend, and the woman you met last week. Let’s do what women do well and rally to the cause. How about organizing an event at your hospital, clinic or organization? Bring women together to present the Call to Action, to honor participants and have speakers who could expand on these ideas and results as they develop.
I’ve enlisted. How about you? Please join the troops.
Memory Lane – Part 2
September 2008 marked our 10-year anniversary of serving clients and speakers and in our last issue, I shared a little about how we got started. In the early days, my intention was to represent a few speakers in health and wellness. That way, I could vouch for every speaker I recommended and concentrate on providing the best service, most informative, fun, and inspirational events for our clients. I did not want to have just another catalog of names. But that quickly changed.
First of all, I was drawn into a wonderful network of speakers who recommended other speakers to me and much to my liking, we often got to meet personally. Our paths started crossing at national meetings of the National Speakers Association and the National Wellness Conference, and there was synergy between the speakers as well as myself. A small group of us, on behalf of the whole, joined the National Association of Women’s Health (NAWH) and sponsored an exhibit booth at two of their national meetings. Another year, we hooked up with Spirit of Women and exhibited at their national meeting in Nashville. The circle kept widening yet I’ve always our focused on knowing my speakers really, really well, while learning all about our clients and their desires and needs.
Which brings us to the other driving force, of course – our clients. While I’ve had the pleasure of booking many return engagements, I’m always on the lookout for the next speaker who will be the perfect fit for a particular client’s special event. And, one of our most unique features, I think, is that our clients recommend speakers to us. Then some of them become stars in our universe too, as they take the message to other clients in other places.
We’re all in this together, in a unique niche, so that makes our slogan, “Creating health and wellness through connections,” most meaningful. We couldn’t have done it without you, and I’d like to say a big, grateful THANK YOU to many of you who have been with us this entire ten years, as well as each client who joins us each year. I look forward to hearing from you and using our connections to make your events high points in the lives of your participants.
Until next time, take care of yourself, and make a connection, for your well being and those you love.
PLEASE NOTE: The information shared in this e-news is designed to help you make informed decisions about speakers and the programs they offer. It is not intended as a substitute for any treatment prescribed by a doctor. If you suspect you have a medical problem, seek competent medical help.