A Word from the President—NHBCC’s 25th Anniversary

This year, 2017, marks the New Hampshire Breast Cancer Coalition’s 25th Anniversary. This milestone is bittersweet. On one hand, NHBCC has supported hundreds of New Hampshire women facing breast cancer and has steadfastly supported the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s research and public policy priorities. On the other hand, breast cancer remains a tough adversary.

NHBCC founding members shared a vision to help end breast can-cer through support, education and advocacy. NHBCC’s list of accomplish-ments includes publishing New Hamp-shire’s first breast cancer resource guide, producing the Emmy-nominated film “Caring for Mo,” assembling hun-dreds of comfort “Tote Bags” for newly diagnosed women, creating the travel-ing photo exhibit “See Us~Hear Us,” lobbying to ensure over $3 billion (yes, that’s billion) for the Department of De-fense Breast Cancer Research Pro-gram, and helping to pass the Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act, which guarantees breast cancer treatment for thousands of low-income women across the coun-try. Several of our Board members graduated from the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s science training pro-gram called “Project LEAD®,” and have gone on to serve in important advocacy positions.

Sadly, despite 25 years of advocacy, activism, research, support and treatment breakthroughs, progress on ending breast cancer has not been commensurate with our investment. For example, in 1998, the American Cancer Society estimated 900 New Hampshire women would be diagnosed with inva-sive breast cancer and approximately 200 would die of the disease. Nearly twenty years later, in 2017, approxi-mately 1,260 will be newly diagnosed and approximately 170 will die. Clearly, our work is not done.

This issue of “Raising Our Voices” includes articles that span the 25-year history of NHBCC. We include a poem by Kana Riley, our very first newsletter editor who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2001, three re-ports from this year’s National Breast Cancer Coalition Annual Advocate Leadership Summit, contributed by NHBCC Board members Amanda Simpson, Deb Smith, and Jackie Staiti, and information about NHBCC’s new “Support A New Hampshire Woman” donation opportunity. As we move forward, we thank everyone who supports NHBCC, our work, our efforts and our mission, and we hope you will continue to keep NHBCC active and strong.