Autumn is my favorite season. The weather starts to change – even here in Southern California where the temperature drops from the 90s or higher down into the 80s. It’s filled with celebrations, starting with Halloween and moving quickly to Thanksgiving, but with none of the chaos that comes with the December holidays.
Why am I talking about Halloween and Thanksgiving when it’s still only September?
Because in our world, October seems to start earlier and earlier, creeping its way into and overtaking September. In my mind, we’re well into not only planning but implementing our plans for October. Which, in case you happen to be living under a rock, is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but more about that next month!
A big part of our plans for this year include the Revlon Love Is On Million Dollar Challenge. You may have seen our emails or social media posts about this. We are in it to win it! Our team is highly competitive – especially Dr. Love! Please consider joining Team Love as we rally our community to get involved and help us win $1 million! Your contribution of even $10, $25, or $100 could be the gift that pushes us into 1st place!
And, if you have a competitive spirit yourself, you can get in on the action by setting up your own page and asking your friends and family to join you. Our team has put together some awesome prizes for our participants so watch for those announcements. 100 percent of the contributions will go to supporting the Foundation’s innovative research and programs.
While the frenzy of October picks up momentum over the next couple of weeks, please stay connected with us for some important updates.
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Collateral Damage Project questionnaire will close at midnight on September 25th. After that, the data will be handed off to our collaborators Annette L. Stanton, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Psychology and Chair, UCLA, and Jessica Clague DeHart, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor, Division of Cancer Etiology, City of Hope NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and we hope to begin sharing some preliminary results with our community during October. We will be gearing up for our Two-Day Think Tank in November, which will bring together a panel of Provider-Survivors (people who are healthcare providers who also have a personal history of cancer) with our amazing Advocate Task Force.
This is a very innovative program that is taking “patient reported outcomes” to a new level. Rather than only asking patients to complete surveys examining questions that the doctors and researchers want answers to, our process began with, and has included at every step, the input and direction of metastatic patients.
My final request to you as the pink haze begins to settle in is not to forget the importance of supporting and being involved in research. As pink products will begin to crowd the shelves of retail stores, remember during the hype that there is so much good work going on in labs and in clinical trials all over this country. We need more research to understand how cancer starts and to make sure that those living with the disease have the best possible quality of life.
Heather Cooper Ortner