Just a little more than a year ago, NBCC took the most historic step ever taken in the fight against breast cancer—we set a deadline to end the disease by January 1, 2020. Our work this past year has shown that Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® is a real, substantive plan of action, and we have given this innovative campaign the strong foundation needed to end breast cancer within the decade.
From the halls of government, to science labs, to the mass media, NBCC spent 2011 calling for new focus, new approaches and new ways to think about ending breast cancer. Look at what NBCC’s members like you have helped us accomplish in our first 12 months of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, It is clear that our efforts have put us on the path to real change.
We laid the groundwork for success this spring with the release of our 2011 Progress Report, Ending Breast Cancer: A Baseline Status Report. By shedding light on the reality of breast cancer trends, research, advocacy and public policy, our Progress Report offers a framework for NBCC’s plan of action and a benchmark to track future progress toward achieving Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.
We succeeded in getting landmark breast cancer legislation introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives that would take an unprecedented step forward in making the end of breast cancer within the decade a national priority. NBCC advocates are embarking on a national petition drive asking President Obama to take a leadership role in support of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. We all have a role to play in ending breast cancer, and our elected officials need to perform theirs. So, I urge you to sign the petition now.
NBCC also is maximizing the early days of the presidential campaigns to press every declared candidate to voice his or her support for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. We need to make sure that the goal of ending breast cancer is not absent from the national debate.
This year NBCC also held two important summits to push researchers, advocates and other stakeholders to work collaboratively and innovatively on vital areas of breast cancer: the causes and prevention of breast cancer metastasis (the cause of 90 percent of all breast cancer deaths), and how to prevent the disease from developing in the first place. And our Artemis Project™ to explore a preventive vaccine for breast cancer is officially underway and moving forward.
At the close of this year’s Era of Hope conference, one of the participating scientists sent me a note in which she said, “I’m starting to learn to ask myself if my research is actually going to help reach the 2020 goal.” If everyone in the breast cancer community asks themselves “Is what I’m doing getting us closer to ending breast cancer?” and they can all respond “YES!” we will be on our way toward ending the disease.
As for me, I have spent a lot of time this year meeting with leaders at different levels of government and within federal agencies, as well as decision-makers in industry, foundations and research facilities. My goal is to find people willing to get on board—and then to make sure their skills and influence are maximized in the pursuit of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.
Twenty years in the trenches of this fight has shown me that everyone can make a difference in ending breast cancer. Each of us has tremendous power—and I feel so grateful that you have chosen to maximize yours by standing with NBCC.
I wish you happy holidays and a joyous new year.
National Breast Cancer Coalition
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The Gift Everyone Wants—The End of Breast Cancer
Looking for the perfect gift t give? How about the end of breast cancer?
Instead of another holiday sweater, give something meaningful this year in the name of someone you love.
It's the most important gift you can give this holiday season!