This issue, we are profiling two members of our Speakers Bureau. To learn more about this program please click here.
I first became involved with Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) more than 17 years ago. My late daughter came to California during the final year of her life. She had terminal metastatic breast cancer. Her treatment had been in Italy, where she lived and maintained a couture leather design business. Following a failed stem cell transplant, she was seeking care options for the end of life. Our connection with BCAction proved a very rewarding experience. Following her death in 1997, I remained convinced BCAction had the right policies. The money spent on “Pink” campaigns and the mainstream breast cancer movement’s failure to support finding the primary causes of cancer offended me.
I am a Northern Californian with 60 years of public policy experience. I have served in local and regional elected office and statewide appointed office. My husband and I have been married for ten years, having had long marriages with our now deceased spouses. We have a large extended family of grown children and their spouses, ten grandchildren, and two great granddaughters. We live in the suburban East Bay community of Castro Valley. We maintain an interest in and support the Oakland Museum of California, theater, nature conservation, and the arts and sciences.
Last year, at age 80, I had surgery for local invasive class 2, stage III ductal carcinoma. Once again, following my own diagnosis, I saw massive research dollars focused on profit-making “treatment.” After that, I decided to get more involved with BCAction. With decades of experience developing public policy and speaking in the public arena, I thought I could contribute through the Speakers Bureau at the end of my life.
I strongly believe that, like the “War on Drugs,” the current approach to cancer in general and breast cancer in particular will fail. The focus and application of research must change. Until the fundamental causes are found, cure is not possible.
Conflicts of interest and profit motives pervade the fundraising and research award
I joined BCAction’s Speakers Bureau because I want to promote debate and conversation about breast cancer, based on my own experience. I want those I speak with to question the status quo and be brave in the decision making we all face.
To those who may consider this role, getting more involved in breast cancer advocacy, every voice is important. Make yours heard.
I graduated from Coe College, Iowa, with a Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1995. I am a wife and mother of three children, and have a passion to educate others on what it means to be truly healthy, with a focus on prevention of disease. I am a former oncology nurse and risk manager for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. While working for over 15 years in what I like to now call “the sickness industry,” I came to realize little, if nothing, was being done to determine the true causes of diseases like cancer. I changed career paths after my second child was born and began looking at natural approaches to health and healing.
I first discovered Breast Cancer Action when I was preparing a presentation for a webinar I was giving regarding breast cancer and the truth behind pink ribbon cause marketing campaigns. I was so blessed to find the Think Before You Pink® website, and it became my go-to place for the information and facts I was looking for. BCAction had already done the hours and hours of research that I needed to do! I couldn’t have been more excited!
For a few years prior to joining the Speakers Bureau, I had been speaking about the underlying causes of cancer, so it just “made sense” to join in because the organization’s mission is parallel to my own mission in life. I know and really value the importance of people joining forces to make a bigger, stronger, global impact toward true change.
The more people speak out on the principles of health and healing, the more younger generations will hear about ways real change can be made in the future. But it begins with you and me! One of my favorite quotes is from B.J. Palmer: “We never know how far reaching something we may think, say, or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.”
I want to get in front of as many people as possible to speak the truth and educate others not only about what they can do for themselves but to truly inspire and encourage them to share the information with others. I have dedicated a minimum of two talks per month toward BCAction campaigns.