Note: The italicized parts of this op-ed template are an indication of where you should fill in your own personal story – why you support NBCC and Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® or what committed you to knowing how to end breast cancer.
[My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years after I graduated from college. Before that, my aunt had been diagnosed with the disease as well, and lives with a Stage IV diagnosis now. I had to confront the fact that there was a possibility I could lose my mother to breast cancer. All I knew about it then was the glaze of pink over the month of October and the popular insistence that women do self-exams regularly. All I knew was the fear that this disease would take my mother and shatter my heart.]
That’s why I support Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®—the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s campaign to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. The deadline changes everything—because we can’t afford more years of business as usual. In 1991, in the United States, 119 women died of breast cancer every day. More than twenty years and billions of research dollars later, that number is 108. That’s one death—one mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, brother, daughter—every 14 minutes. This year nearly 40,000 women and roughly 400 men will die of breast cancer in this country alone. Worldwide, that figure is more than ten times that amount.
The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) launched the deadline campaign because they weren’t satisfied with the pace of progress and how little has changed. NBCC did not just declare a deadline; they also have a plan of action. This blueprint focuses on primary prevention, stopping women from getting breast cancer, and understanding and preventing metastasis (the spread of cancer), which is responsible for 90% of breast cancer deaths.
But NBCC can’t do it alone. They need advocates and leaders to help change the conversation about breast cancer and to push for change where it is needed most.
[My mother taught me to use my strengths for good. When I first heard about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, I was excited. Here was an organization committed to ending breast cancer in my lifetime. I wanted to be a part of that movement. I brought that enthusiasm to my interview and started as a temporary receptionist a few days after that. When that role was up, I was asked if I wanted to stay on and my answer was yes. I wanted to help the organization in any way I could. It’s been almost two years since then, and I am grateful to say that I’ve been a part of this mission.]
For the women and men who have breast cancer, the deadline is also a lifeline. It’s even more than that, though. It’s a way to ensure that future generations never have to hear the words “you have breast cancer.” Some people have said it is impossible, but impossible things have been accomplished before. We got to the moon because a deadline was set. Polio was cured in less than a decade. NBCC wants to move beyond the impossible and into a world without breast cancer. Will you join us?
[Your Name] is a [member] of the National Breast Cancer Coalition.