It is my great privilege to THANK YOU, along with all the ZBC supporters, for your 2017 year-end appeal donation, your generous hours of volunteering during 2017, your fundraising for the Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer and your partnership in sharing information about modifiable breast cancer risk.
Your generosity, in combination with a range of communal and business partners, make an impact. I am delighted to also say THANK YOU to the Marin County Board of Supervisors, various local police departments, firefighters and business such as Peter Levy Plumbing, Safeway, Allstate, Hand & Hand, Wareham Development, Cavallo Point and Lappert's Ice Cream who sustain the vision of a world with zero breast cancer. My job would not be done without another acknowledgment for the generosity of the Dipsea Hike sponsors and in-kind donors. THANK YOU. For a full listing of Dipea Hike 2017 sponsors click here!
Last Thursday Catherine Thomsen and I attended the Annual Meeting of the San Francisco Women's Cancer Network. (SFWCN). This gathering is always an excellent opportunity to connect with our San Francisco based colleges from UCSF, the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and numerous community based non-profits working to ensure that safety-net services for cancer patients remain well supported. It was good to catch up with former ZBC board member, Fern Orenstein, and former ZBC ED, Janice Barlow. A highlight of the meeting was a challenging and thought provoking presentation by Dr. Kim F. Rhoads, MD, MS, MPH, FACS. Dr. Rhoads presented compelling evidence of systemic factors that overtly and covertly perpetuate disparities in health and healthcare accross racial lines. Talking about health and wellness with its focus on individual behaviors is necessary but not sufficient to improve the health outcomes of undeserved and disadvantaged population groups.. We took this message to heart as a reminder of the importance of diverse community involvement in breast cancer survivorship care and recurrence prevention planning - a key focus of several Zero Breast Cancer initiatives and partnerships. Dr. Rhoads reminded us of an important quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” And added her own twist with the modification of the word "inhumane' to "inhuman"!
Fern Orenstein updated the SFWCN participants on changes in the funding landscape in 2019 and beyond as the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade support for many local programs will no longer be available. Fern gave full credit to the huge impact the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade has made in the Bay Area and we join her in acknowledging how crucial their support was to Zero Breast Cancer over a very long period. I am glad to report that Zero Breast Cancer has already made great strides in securing alternative sources of funding over the past 18 months and the coming changes will not deter us from our mission.
On a somber note we were recently advised of the passing of Marjorie (Marjie) Bonner shortly before the 2017 Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer. As my history with Zero Breast Cancer is relatively short it took some digging to find out how Marjie was connected to ZBC and why the work of ZBC was important enough to her to include us in her estate planning. We were greatly moved to learn that Marjie was the mother who survived the loss of her daughter Andrea (Annie) Fox to breast cancer when Annie was only 35 years old. You can read more about Annie on page 9 of the Marin Breast Cancer Watch Fall 2002 Newsletter We would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to Marjie's family, friends and community as will as to Annie's friends and community who knew Marjie.
We would also like to take this opportunity to wish Rabbi Stacey Laveson Friedman of Congregation Rodef Sholom here in San Rafael well. Rabbi Stacey recently shared with her congregation and community that she is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Many of our Zero Breast Cancer readers, dedicated volunteers, Dipsea Hike participants and donors are members of Congregation Rodef Sholom.
I will conclude by explaining the asterisk * in the heading of this piece. In the Hebrew language letters (and words) have numerical values. Reverse engineering 2018 gives us the words 'Be Life". Our wish to you for 2018 and beyond is "Be Life'.
Yours in health,
PS Please don't forget its not too early to show your support in 2018! We count on donors like you. Thank you.