On the front line in the battle against breast cancer.
PA Breast Cancer Coalition Presents Researcher with $100,000 Grant to Continue Breakthrough Study 2011 Conference Features Surprise Presentation, Inspiring Awardees
Pat Halpin-Murphy and First Lady Susan Corbett present Dr. Craig Meyers with research grant.
ach year, the PA Breast Cancer Coalition seeks to provide attendees of our conference with a unique experience. The 2011 PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference certainly provided that and more for the hundreds of attendees that joined us in Harrisburg. Just days before the conference, the PBCC learned that Dr. Craig Meyers, a researcher at the Penn State College of Medicine and a recipient of a PBCC Refunds for Breast Cancer Research grant, discovered a nondisease-causing virus that successfully kills breast cancer cells in a laboratory setting. Dr. Meyers was in need of additional funding to move the study forward in the hopes of eventually conducting human trials. The PBCC invited Dr. Meyers to the conference as a special guest and surprised him with a $100,000 research grant award to further his study that could potentially hold the key to a cure for breast cancer. The research grant presentation was only part of the event-packed day. Attendees were treated to an inspiring keynote address by Pennsylvaniaâ€™s First Lady Susan Corbett, where she shared her personal experience as a daughter of a breast cancer survivor.
2011 Conference Recap continued on page 2
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
FRONTLINE President’s Corner TM
A quarterly publication of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition
Give the Gift of REAL HOPE this Holiday Season
800-377-8828 www.PABreastCancer.org Statewide Headquarters 344 North Reading Road Ephrata, PA 17522 Pat Halpin-Murphy President & Founder
Leslie Anne Miller, Esq. Executive Vice President
Heather Hibshman Executive Director
HONORARY BOARD Bernard Fisher, M.D. Michele M. Ridge Senator Harris Wofford
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Madlyn Abramson Rosemary Boland Sandra Christianson Sandy Cray Deborah Freer John Glick, M.D. Gary Gurian G. June Hoch Andrea Mastro, Ph.D. Alice Sanders Jeanne Schmedlen Mary Simmonds, M.D., F.A.C.P. Pat Stewart Leslie Stiles Ted Williams Norman Wolmark, M.D.
PBCC STAFF Carol Burkholder Kim Eubanks Tricia Grove Dolores Magro Jennifer Pensinger Kevin Smith
FrontLine is published as a quarterly communique for the information of the supporters and friends of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or distributed without permission from the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. Amy Collins Law, Editor Amy@PABreastCancer.org
n a laboratory at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA, Dr. Craig Meyers and his research team found REAL HOPE. Their discovery of a virus that destroys breast cancer cells inspired REAL HOPE among all those in attendance at the PA Breast Cancer Coalition Conference this October. It brings the PBCC REAL HOPE that finding a cure now...so our daughters won’t have to is within reach. Dr. Meyers’ research was initially made possible with a grant from the PBCC’s Refunds for Breast Cancer Research program, where PA taxpayers donate all or part of their state income tax refund to fund research happening right here in Pennsylvania. It provides us with a real world reminder that research is our best weapon in the battle with breast cancer. As the season of giving is upon us, I hope that you will make a contribution to the PBCC to help us fund promising research as well as support vast array of other valuable programs the PBCC undertakes on behalf of the 32 woman who hear the words, “You have breast cancer,” each day in Pennsylvania. Together, we can offer REAL HOPE that the battle against breast cancer can be won because of dedicated researchers like Dr. Craig Meyers and committed individuals like you. Visit pbcc.me/Cure to make a donation today.
2011 Conference (continued) Thomas G. Frazier, M.D., F.A.C.S., the Medical Director of the Comprehensive Breast Center at Main Line Health - Bryn Mawr, and Mimi Barash Coppersmith, a breast cancer survivor, Founder of Town & Gown Magazine and Honorary Chair of the Penn State Lady Lions PinkZone, were each presented with the 2011 Pink Ribbon Award for their respective contributions and commitment to the fight against breast cancer as part of during the event-filled luncheon. The 2011 Potamkin Award winner, Susan Domchek, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of the MacDonald Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at the Abramson Cancer Center, shared some of her research findings with conference attendees during the morning’s Plenary Session. At the evening reception held the night before the conference, our 2011 Shining Light Awardees Rob Ziemba and Jon Jehrio spoke about how they are inspired to support the PBCC with their annual Play It Again for Charity hockey game. The First Lady, the awardees and the check presentation to Dr. Meyers along with the excellent workshops and exhibitors made the 2011 PBCC Conference one that all those who attended will surely remember for years to come. Mark your calendars for the 2012 Conference, which will be held on Tuesday, October 9th!
“The luncheon was spectacular remarks from Mrs. Corbett, the awarding of the Pink Ribbon Award, and announcement of the $100K grant made for a very special occasion.” - 2011 Attendee
“I was very impressed and am planning to return in 2012. It was inspiring just talking to all the amazing women!” - 2011 Attendee FRONTLINE - WINTER 2011
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
Illuminating the lives of breast cancer survivors
Philadelphia County Judi Blue is an administrative officer for the City of Philadelphia in the Dept. of Human Services. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2007.
Diagnosis and Treatment For my 47th birthday I gave myself the gift of a mammogram, the same as I do every January. The radiologist who read the results thought it looked OK, but I asked for a copy of the report and sent it to my gynecologist to get his opinion. He sent me to a breast specialist for an ultrasound and then I had a biopsy. As it turned out, I had triple negative breast cancer. The tumor was stage 1, grade 2, 80% IDC and 20% DCIS. When I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor and I have always been vigilant in following up with my mammograms because my Mom had breast cancer 13 years earlier. I was given the option of mastectomy or lumpectomy. Since I wanted to get back to work quickly, I chose the lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy and radiation.
The Hardest Part The hardest part was watching my parents watch me. I don’t know which was sadder… my Mom, who had battled and won her breast cancer battle and knew what I was going through or my Dad, who had to watch his queen and then his princess go through it. They were a great support for me. And you’d be amazed at who comes to your rescue when
you need them. My ex, her mom, who is ue shares a moment with Bl di Ju who I had broken up also a breast cancer survivor! with 5 months before my diagnosis, moved in with me after surgery and stayed for 3 weeks until I was able to be on my own again.
An Epiphany The day I came home from surgery, I had an epiphany. I realized that I got the gift of this diagnosis so that I could be a brighter beacon to others in the storm of breast cancer. I crochet and knit, creating fiber art. A medical masseuse who was treating me for aches and pains asked to meet with me to talk about an idea she had. She had delighted in the artistic way I dressed and asked if I would consider painting a picture using my breast as the paintbrush. The painting, and others, would be auctioned off to raise money to offset costs of massage treatments for other women. I agreed, and my painting was the first one sold! Now I have completed about 30 paintings, and from those images I make jewelry, calendars and key chains. It’s wonderful therapy for me and creates sunshine on a rainy day for others. It’s my hope that my artwork will uplift and inspire other women with breast cancer. I recently read this motivational message which I like to share and strive to live by, “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your absence felt.”
“The day I came home from surgery, I had an epiphany. I realized that I got the gift of this diagnosis so that I could be a brighter beacon to others in the storm of breast cancer.” - Judi Blue
Judi Blue is featured in the PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit, 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania. She represents Philadelphia County in the exhibit, and spoke at the opening reception at Fox Chase Cancer Center in October. FRONTLINE - WINTER 2011
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
Thanks to the PBCC Conference Sponsors Gold
Continental Breakfast Pink Ribbon Reception
First Lady’s Reception
Peter & Lauren Freer
Leslie Anne Miller, Esq. Pink Ribbon Sponsors Adams County Breast Cancer Coalition w Allegheny General Hospital w Andrews & Patel Associates, P.C. w APSCUF w Breast Health Center w Capital BlueCross w Carlisle Regional Medical Center w The Center for Women’s Health, Ephrata Cancer Center, Ephrata Community OB/GYN and Lancaster County Center for Plastic Surgery at Ephrata Community Hospital w Mimi Barash Coppersmith w Crown Holdings, Inc. w Easton Regional Cancer Center w Feinberg Shopp w Debbie & Patrick Freer - Strickler Insurance Agency, Inc. w Genomic Health, Inc. w Glatfelter Insurance Group w Good Samaritan Health System w Holy Spirit Health System w Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital w Joyce Murtha Breast Care Center at Windber Medical Center w Lancaster General Health w LDC Health and Safety Fund w Lehigh Valley Health Network w Partners in Women’s Healthcare, P.C. w The Reading Hospital Regional Cancer Center w St. Luke’s Hospital and Health Network w St. Mary Medical Center w Leslie Stiles w The Wistar Institute
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PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
M E D I C A L A RT I C L E
Study Suggests Relatives of Women with BRCA Mutation at No Greater Risk for Breast Cancer by BARBARA C. GOOD, PH.D., Director of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Division of Scientific Publications Barbara C. Good, Ph.D.
ne of the frustrations inherent in breast cancer research is that, with the exception of particular milestone clinical trials or studies that break new territory, conflicting results can make patients’ and physicians’ judgments about treatment and care difficult. A recent example of this is the finding by a research group from the Stanford University School of Medicine that a woman with a female relative who has had breast cancer because she carries a genetic BRCA mutation is at no greater risk for the disease than a woman whose female relative had breast cancer but did not possess the mutation. The study was the largest analysis to date of breast cancer risk in noncarrier members of BRCA mutation families and included a total of more than 3000 families in Northern California, Australia, and Canada, 292 families in which a woman had a BRCA mutation. It has been shown that women who inherit the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations have a 5- to 20-fold higher risk than the general population of developing breast or ovarian cancer—if you inherit the mutation, you have a 40-86% chance of developing breast cancer in your lifetime. If you do not inherit the mutation, your risk, according to the Stanford study, is much lower. Women with the mutation have a 50/50 chance of passing the mutation on to each child. In contrast to the Stanford findings, a study in 2007 reported that noncarrier relatives of breast cancer patients with the BRCA mutation were at increased risk compared to
women in the general population. However, that study used as its “general” population a group of women made up of those with and without a family history of breast cancer. The Stanford study, on the other hand, compared women who had cancer in their families because of the mutation to women who had cancer in their families but not the mutation. It will be interesting to see if the findings from the Stanford study can be replicated. Noncarrier women in these families need to remain vigilant because of their family history, but perhaps no more so than a woman whose sister or mother developed breast cancer seemingly spontaneously. But, again, the Stanford results do conflict with earlier findings, so it is difficult to say with certainty if they will prove true in the long run. In the meantime, it is imperative that women with close relatives who have breast cancer from any cause report this to their physicians and continue to get regular checkups and mammograms. Interestingly, the Stanford study also found that a small percentage of women (3.4% in the populations studied) who are at highest risk of developing breast cancer for unknown reasons (ie, not the BRCA mutation) account for 32% of diagnosed breast cancers. There could be many reasons for those cancers, including environmental and behavioral, but it is probable that many currently unknown gene mutations exist that affect or cause the development of breast cancer.
FRONTLINE - WINTER 2011
“Noncarrier women in these families need to remain vigilant because of their family history, but perhaps no more so than a woman whose sister or mother developed breast cancer seemingly spontaneously.” -- Barbara Good, Ph.D.
PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
Grassroots Partners T
he Northeastern High School Football team put together a winning game plan for raising awareness and funds to help in the fight against breast cancer this year. The team collected donations and sold pink socks like those worn by the players in the photo. Their efforts raised $1,004 for the PBCC. Thanks to the team for showing even tough guys can ‘Think Pink’!
Ride the Trail to a Cure
inda Golden’s passion for riding horses and her experience as a breast cancer survivor inspired her to organize Ride the Trail for a Cure over six years ago. The enthusiasm with which the event has been received among riders, the community, and survivors - along wtih Linda’s commitment, leadership and organization - is what has kept it going strong for six years running. Over $6,000 was raised this year, for a grand total of $44,806 for the PBCC since the event began. Thanks to Linda and all participants for another great ride! ith winter right around the corner, soon we’ll be wishing we had hit the links with the Women in PA Government Relations for their annual golf outing back in September! Their fun day on the green brought in some green for the PBCC as well - over $6,300 was raised! Many thanks to Sherry Bonawitz and all the organizers and participants for their continued support!
or Bermudian Springs High School senior Lauren Egenrieder’s senior project, she organized a 5k race. Working with her advisor, Jared Nace, to secure sponsorships, registrations, and donations, Lauren raised over $4,400 for the PBCC! (We think she deserves an A+ for this effort.) Way to go Lauren!
he Garden Spot Motorcycle Club was revved up and ready to go for the 3rd Annual Ride to Help this year. Participants enjoyed a fun motorcycle ride followed by a pig roast with great food and fun for everyone. Over $3,800 was raised for the PBCC from this year’s event. Special thanks to the event organizers and all participants for their generosity and willingness to help!
arwick High School Ice Hockey took on Hempfield High School on the ice, but in an effort led by Warwick student Marc Wiczkowski, these rival teams partnered together to raise funds and awareness for the PBCC. Their efforts ‘net’ the PBCC $1,526! We thank Marc and the Warwick and Hempfield teams and their supporters for showing how cool it is to support the fight against breast cancer with teamwork!
icking off a month of breast cancer awareness was a family K affair for some of those who took part in the 10th Annual Westmoreland Walks: Taking Steps Against Breast Cancer 5k this year. Not even a rainy day could dampen the spirits of those who turned out to walk. Nearly $225,000 has been raised over 10 years for the PBCC. Thanks to Cheryl McMullen, Kathy Brown, the Board of Directors, sponsors, and walkers who make this possible!
Plant the seed in your community and watch it grow statewide - become a Grassroots Partner. To find out how, call the PBCC at 800-377-8828 or visit PaBreastCancer.org 6
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PA BREAST CANCER COALITION
67 Women, 67 Counties Exhibit Visits Philadelphia & Greene Counties
Join the PBCC and the Lady Lions at the 6th Annual Pink Zone in February
Speakers at the exhibit opening held at Fox Chase Cancer Center include Judi Blue, Joanne Grossi, Pat Halpin-Murphy, Lori Goldstein, M.D., and Michael Seidel, M.D., Ph.D.
he PBCC’s traveling photo exhibit, 67 Women, 67 Counties: Facing Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania visited two of the southernmost corners of Pennsylvania this fall. In October, Fox Chase Cancer Center (FCCC) in Philadelphia County hosted the exhibit. The Southwest Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Greene County displayed the exhibit for their community in November. PBCC President & Founder Pat Halpin-Murphy joined FCCC President & CEO Michael Seidel, M.D., Ph.D.; Joanne Grossi, Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Lori Goldstein, M.D., Associate Professor & Director of the Naomi and Phil Lippincott Breast Evaluation Center; and Judi Blue, a Philadelphia County exhibit participant and breast cancer survivor in speaking to the crowd at the opening reception. Heather Hibshman, the PBCC’s Executive Director, made the trip to Greene County for the opening reception. She spoke at the event along with Carolyn Wissenbach, Penn State County Extension Director and Greene County Cancer Coalition Chair; Cynthia J. Cowie, CEO of SRMC; H. Adam Patton, D.O., Diagnostic Radiology of SRMC; and Valerie Cole, a breast cancer survivor and SRMC volunteer. Special thanks to the PA Department of Health for their continued support of the traveling photo exhibit.
hat is better than taking it to the hoop for a good cause? Not much if you’re the Northeast Rockers of Philadelphia! Their 4th Annual Jamfest gave young basketball players an opportunity to play a game that they enjoy and support the PBCC in the process. Thanks to event organizers and coaches Colleen and Marty Bednarek as well as the players for a $4,000 donation! Way to score big for the PBCC!
oin the Lady Lions, 2011 PBCC Pink Ribbon Award winner and event Honorary Chair Mimi Barash Coppersmith, and thousands of breast cancer survivors at the 6th Annual Pink Zone at Penn State on Sunday, February 26th! The Bryce Jordan Center is sure to be awash in pink when the Lady Lions take on the Golden Gophers of Minnesota. Breast cancer survivors can get free tickets for themselves and up to three family members or friends and purchase additional tickets for $5. Survivors will be recognized in a special half time ceremony and post-game reception. Free bus service for breast cancer survivors attending the game will also be available from Harrisburg/Hershey, Bedford/Altoona, DuBois/Clearfield, Huntingdon, Lewistown, Williamsport/Lock Haven, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Be sure to confirm your bus seat when you order your tickets! Tickets are available for the public and survivors at GoPSUSports.com/PinkZone! More details will be forthcoming, so check the PBCC Event Calendar or a future Pink Link for more info! If you don’t receive email from the PBCC, visit pbcc.me/PL to register for Pink Link and email updates on this event. Hope to see you in February!
he Women’s Harrisburg District Golf Association held a benefit event for the PBCC once again this year. A great time was had by all who were in attendance. Thanks to their efforts, $2,062 was raised to help the PBCC. Event organizer Linda Schneiter joined PBCC Executive Director H e a t h e r Hibshman and PBCC Board Member Debbie Freer for a photo at the event. Our thanks and appreciation goes out to Linda and all who made the event such a success!
FRONTLINE - WINTER 2011
344 North Reading Road Ephrata, PA 17522 Address Service Requested
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B R E A S T C A N C E R R E S E A RC H
Your state tax refund
today can ensure her tomorrows. This tax season YOU can help find a cure for breast cancer! Look for the PA Breast Cancer Coalition’s Refunds for Research line (line 35) on your state income tax form and donate your refund to breast cancer research.
Help find a cure for breast cancer now... so our daughters won’t have to. www.PABreastCancer.org