Posted on March 7, 2024

By Haleemah Atobiloye, Program Manager

When we raise our collective voices, we create systemic change.

Recent updates: Wins!

In partnership with other patient advocates and the Lymphedema Advocacy Group, in December of 2022, we were successful in urging legislators to pass the Lymphedema Treatment Act (LTA) into law. The LTA is a bill that requires Medicare coverage for lymphedema compression garments and supplies.

On January 1, 2024, this new coverage came into effect.

Our allies in the Lymphedema Advocacy Group have put together an easy-to-understand one-pager outlining key information about the insurance coverage for lymphedema compression garments and supplies.

To help you better advocate for yourself or someone in your community, or if you’re a clinician or a lymphedema compression supplier, take a moment to review this resource, and share it with your network as appropriate.

In May 2023, alongside 100+ allied organizations, we signed on to support the Center for Biological Diversity’s letter to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) urging the agency to protect the National Pesticide Use Map database, which was undermined and vulnerable to termination from the previous administration.

The pesticide use map is a valuable tool used by scientists and advocates alike. The changes made to the Pesticide Use Mapping Project in 2019 resulted in a significant reduction in the number of pesticides tracked and reported, as the the scope of the project was reduced from tracking around 500 agricultural pesticides, to just 72 pesticides. This is unacceptable, and a potential harm to public health.

As of February 2024, our collective voice was heard and the USGS reversed its cuts to this important resource, and restored the scope of this Pesticide Use Mapping Project to its pre-2019 level.

Our critical lens, along with our collective action to protect people living with and at risk of breast cancer, made this happen!

Recent Updates: February Advocacy

In February, we continued our advocacy efforts with two significant sign-ons:
  • The #MarchToEndFossilFuel that took place in NYC last year successfully led to a pause in new gas export approvals by the Biden administration. We took our support a step further by endorsing a letter urging President Biden to reject further Liquefied Natural Gas exports, and other fossil fuel infrastructure projects. These projects pose serious health risks, especially to communities already disproportionately affected, and may increase our risk of developing breast cancer.
  • As an organization that approaches breast cancer advocacy through an intersectional justice lens, we included our organizational support in a letter urging Governor Newsom and the California Air Resources Board to reform the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. The current standard incentivizes polluting factory farm “biogas,” a fuel produced from dairy waste. Waste produced by the dairy industry contains pollutants that pose health risks, and if not managed properly, can release huge amounts of carcinogens into the environment. Our legislators and regulatory agencies MUST prioritize the well-being of their people over corporate interests.
Our efforts to address and end the breast cancer crisis are made possible by your support. Thank you for your solidarity and collective action in this work. By calling out environmental injustices and speaking to the need for health and healthcare equity, we pave the way for a future where all communities can thrive, free from breast cancer.