Marlene McCarthy is co-founder and volunteer chair of the Rhode Island Breast Cancer Coalition. Her passion for breast cancer is demonstrated in her commitment to access for women with disabilities and quality care for all women in Rhode Island. She has testified before Congress, represented consumers at scientific meetings and helped organize international conferences on breast cancer advocacy. In 1996, Ms. McCarthy left her career as director of community services for the homeless to establish a multimedia resource center for women with breast cancer. Described as a 'powerhouse' in Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, she serves on numerous statewide boards, committees and appointed commissions affecting public policy and advocating for underserved women. In 2001, the University of Rhode Island awarded her an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, for breast cancer advocacy locally, nationally and internationally. Ms. McCarthy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. She and Joe, her husband of 37 years, have four children and two grandchildren, and reside in Coventry, RI.