Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
About 39,500 women will die from the disease in 2012. Right now there are about two and a half million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 3%. About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. These occur due to genetic mutations that happen as a result of the aging process and life in general, rather than inherited mutations.
The good news is breast cancer death rates are going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and improved treatment. While early detection and treatment advances help to save lives, recurrence is always a possibility and there is still no cure for Stage IV breast cancer.
Numerous organizations have been founded to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. Success in raising awareness is evidenced by pink ribbons on car bumpers and special promotions in retail stores. However, monies directed toward awareness are also monies that are not being funneled to scientists who are identifying the keys that will unlock the mysteries of this disease. Additionally, all current fundraising organizations have overhead costs that divert even more money from research. It is essential that funds shift in favor of research. Compounding this competition for research dollars is an ongoing reduction in NIH (National Institute of Health) funding.
To help address these issues, in 2005, two friends, Norma Logan (1958-2006) and Sandy Maniscalco started the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation (TBBCF). The desire to establish a non-profit organization was from frustration at seeing successful fundraising efforts being diverted from research to cover organizational overhead. For example, between 2004 and 2005 Norma and Sandy led a small group of individuals in raising $200,000 for an internationally renowned breast cancer foundation's sponsorship of a 3-Day Walk. Upon investigating the financials of the 3-Day event, it was determined that 40% of all money raised went to overhead. Of the $200,000 raised by Norma's and Sandy's group, $80,000 never made it to critical programs or research. Determined to address this issue and ensure money was directed at finding a cure, these women established a unique non-profit organization, which through sponsorship and volunteerism, is able to direct 100 percent of total gross fundraising efforts to breast cancer research.
The organization's name was chosen to honor a dear friend, Terri Brodeur. Terri presented with Stage IV breast cancer in 2003. Effective treatment options did not exist to help Terri, and after a two-year battle she succumbed to the disease leaving behind a beloved husband and three young children.
The business philosophy of TBBCF is best captured by the following quote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead
Numerous large, successful organizations raise money for breast cancer awareness and research; however, these organizations routinely have overhead and administrative costs that must be offset by a percentage of fundraising dollars. These overhead costs are often directly correlated to the size of the organization.
By working at a grass roots level, with committed volunteers who have a proven track record in fundraising, and with the support of key sponsors, TBBCF will devote 100% of gross fundraising dollars directly to research. Those who donate will know exactly how and to whom their donation dollars are directed.