With one in eight women diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, a breast cancer diagnosis is no rare event. But it’s also no longer a death sentence. Breast cancer is the single most survivable form of cancer with over three million survivors living in the U.S. today. I am one of them. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 lobular breast cancer three years ago. And, after eight months of treatment and tons of follow up care, my cancer shows no sign of returning.
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As I learned through my own experience, women with breast cancer need support and it is with that in mind that 400 people gathered at Cipriani on New York City’s 42nd Street to raise money to find cures and fund care.
Valeria Campello, founder of the luxury lingerie brand Cosabella, was honored with the Surviving with Impact award. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, an invasive ductal carcinoma, in February 2012 after a mammogram discovered an abnormality. Campello now devotes much of her time to educating women about the importance of testing. Her company has even designed a line of bras specially for women who have had breast surgery.
Eli Lilly was honored with the 2019 Corporate Impact Award in recognition of its commitment to developing medications for difficult-to-treat breast cancers such as HER 2 Metastatic disease. And, Maimonides Breast Center at Maimonides Medical Center was recognized with Komen’s Community Impact & Innovation Award as the first Brooklyn Breast Center to receive accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
Komen was founded by Nancy Brinker, whose sister, Susan G. Komen, died of breast cancer at the age of 37. Today, Komen has affiliates all over the country. This week’s luncheon raised more than $500,000 to help fund mammograms for women with limited access to care and research in the New York City area.
Since, I’ve returned to work, I’ve dedicated myself to helping women who’ve been diagnosed get the care they need. I feel like it is the least I can do to pay back all the incredible people who rallied around me when I was sick.
Even though the experience of having cancer was traumatic, it allowed me, maybe for the first time in my life, to understand that by working together we can truly solve life’s biggest problems.