News and Events

Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Receives Generous Contribution from Smith & Wilkinson

March 14, 2019

Smith & Wilkinson, Scarborough, one of the country’s premier executive search and leadership consulting organizations, continued its strong support and commitment of giving back with a $2,500 contribution to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition.   

“Giving back is an important part of our culture and builds upon our commitment to making a difference, whether it’s using our skills and experience to match companies and talent, or contributing to non-profit organizations that help others. We are pleased to recognize and support the positive impact that the MBCC makes through this contribution,” said Carll Wilkinson, Managing Partner of Smith & Wilkinson. 

Wilkinson said the company dedicates a generous portion of its net profits annually to charitable giving. In 2018, Smith & Wilkinson contributed more than $25,000 to non-profits in multiple states.  

All of us at Maine Breast Cancer Coalition are grateful for Smith and Wilkinson’s support!

Photo, left to right: Christopher Kelley, Smith & Wilkinson Partner; Liz Tusing, MBCC volunteer fundraising coordinator; Nick Hayes, Partner and Practice Director; Steve Peary, Partner

 


Maine ACS CAN Day at the Capitol

Join fellow advocates, cancer survivors, and caregivers from across the state as we meet with our Maine lawmakers and ask them to support legislation that will help eliminate cancer as a major health problem. Read more.



8-Week Breast Cancer Education and Informational Series, MDI Hospital

Mount Desert Island Hospital's Breast Health Center Program is sponsoring an 8-week education and informational series. RSVPs are requested.

Click here for a flyer that lists each session's topics in detail. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Maureen Giffin, RN at 207-288-8435.


Medomak Valley High School “Paws for the Cause” Basketball Game Raises $7,000 for MBCC

February 4, 2019
The Medomak Valley High School Athletic Department, in conjunction with the Medomak Valley All Sports Boosters, held the Second Annual “Paws for the Cause” basketball game to benefit the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition on January 2, 2019, at Medomak Valley High School. 

The Medomak Valley Panthers played host to the Lincoln Academy Eagles. Back-to-back “Pink Out” games featured the varsity girls followed by the varsity boys. For these special games, both of the Medomak Valley teams wore unique, pink uniforms. Besides hosting girls’ and boys’ “bring out the pink" basketball games, they also sold Pink Paw cards, and held a 50/50 raffle and t-shirt sale.

The fundraiser raised an amazing $7,000 for the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition's Support Service Fund and surpassed last year’s total of $6,500. Read more.

 



The PayPal Giving Fund Makes It Easy to Donate to MBCC !

The Maine Breast Cancer Coaliiton is pleased to announce that we are now able to accept donations as part of the Paypal Giving Fund.

Please use this link to support the important work of our organization - helping women and men living with and at risk of breast cancer here in Maine. All donations through the PayPal Giving Fund go to our Support Service Fund.


Thank You to DND Disc Golf For Their Continued Support

On October 6, MBCC supporter DND Disc Golf of Sidney held their annual benefit disc golf tournament in memory of Effie Tillson, who passed away from breast cancer in 2014. They raised an amazing amount---$3,620 in just one day, over $1,000 more than they raised last year! The money will be donated to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition’s Support Service Fund and will help Maine residents with unmet breast cancer or breast health related needs. Many thanks to DND Disc Golf and all those who took part in the tournament for the generous support!

Three generations of Tillsons took part in presenting a check to MBCC volunteers! The top photo shows little Lillian Tillson presenting the check to Pam Sirois (MBCC Board and Support Service Fund Commitee Chair) along with her mom Kaitlyn and grandmother Tammy. Read more.


$2,000,000 In Eighteen Years: A Support Service Fund Milestone

MBCC Logo

October, “Breast Cancer Awareness Month”, is a time to reflect on the impact that breast cancer has on the lives of many Maine residents. The need for research leading to eradication of this disease is urgent. But there is also a need to take action to assist those currently dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis or in need of breast health services. The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition’s Support Service Fund strives to fill this need for Maine residents.

For the past eighteen years, the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition’s Support Service Fund has been an important “safety net” program for Maine people needing breast health or breast cancer related assistance and who have nowhere else to turn. This month marks an important milestone for the Fund: During the past eighteen years we have helped more than four thousand Maine residents with a total of more than $2,000,000 in grant awards. Read more.

Thank You to Northeast Air!

Thank you to our friends at Northeast Air of Portland for their generosity in fundraising for the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition during breast cancer awareness month this October. For the second consecutive year, Northeast Air employees participated in a fundraiser for MBCC, and employee donations were matched by owners Henry and Linda Laughlin, for a total donation of $2,100.

MBCC volunteers Carol Beagan (MBCC treasurer and Support Service Fund Committee member), Christine Haiss (MBCC Board and Support Service Fund Committee member), and Liz Tusing (fundraiser coordinator) were honored to be able to thank so many NEA employees in person!


"monarch E" Early Breast Cancer Study Enrolling Participants Now

Click here for the monarch E flyer for patients. To find out more, please call 866-576-4989.

Maine Breast Cancer Support License Plate Celebrates 10 Years, $3M Raised for Cancer Programs

Monday, October 1, 2018 Press Release 

AUGUSTA, Maine—Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap today announced the 10-year anniversary of the initial release of Maine Breast Cancer Support specialty license plate, which raises funds to combat breast cancer in Maine. 

 

The plates were first made available to the public on October 1, 2008. Today, there are 25,002 of these “pink ribbon” plates on the road, which have raised $3,141,385, with more than $2,950,047 going to the Breast Cancer Support Services Fund over the past 10 years.

 

“I am proud that the State of Maine has been a leader in the fight against breast cancer. It’s nearly impossible to find someone whose life has not been touched by cancer, whether they’ve experienced it personally or through the journey of a family member, friend or coworker. And that’s probably why this plate is so popular,” said Secretary Dunlap. “The pink ribbon license plates have allowed Mainers in every community to make their voice heard and to contribute to this ongoing battle. The funds raised by these plates make a difference in people’s lives throughout the state.”

Read more.


Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act

Access to quality care for all remains the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) priority. While we fight for that goal, one of NBCC’s highest legislative priorities this year is to enact legislation to waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare eligibility and the 5-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for individuals with metastatic breast cancer who qualify for social security disability. Read more.

Thank You, New Gloucester Fraternal Order of Eagles!

June 2018
The New Gloucester Fraternal Order of Eagles #4131 members have been long-time supporters of the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition. They again held their Annual “All Girls” Twist and Shoot Darts Tournament to benefit MBCC, and raised more than $5,100 for our Support Service Fund!

The donation was announced at a dinner during the Maine Fraternal Order of Eagles State Convention in Brewer, on June 9, 2018. All of us at MBCC are so grateful to the members of the New Gloucester Eagles, who work hard to raise funds for MBCC every year. Two of our volunteers attended the dinner and were so pleased to meet many of the New Gloucester Eagles members.

We would also like to thank Mark Cable, head of fundraising for Twist and Shoot, who was not present for the photo.

Photo, left to right: Marissa Crooker, Sandy Hubbard, Mike Fickett, Carol Beagan (MBCC treasurer), Dave Marston, Dennis Crooker, Deanna DeRocco, Trina DeMerchant, Christine Haiss (MBCC Board), Jerry DeMerchant, Lillian Strait


In Loving Memory of Carmen Darkis

by Bethany Zell, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition President
May 16, 2018

The Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is heartbroken at the recent loss of long-time volunteer member, Carmen Darkis. When Carmen was 19 years old, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away at the age of 62, just four short years later. It was at this time that cancer changed Carmen’s life forever.  

Carmen’s connection to breast cancer became personal when she was diagnosed in 1988. Carmen had a mastectomy and soon after surgery, joined the support group “Encore” at the YWCA. In her own words “the support group helped me cope, educated me about my cancer, enabled me to make new friendships…It was very much a learning experience for me and I wasn’t afraid anymore to talk about breast cancer. It also helped me cope with life at my workplace.”

In 1993, Carmen was again diagnosed, this time with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and despite being in constant treatment, in 1998 she decided that it was time to stop talking about breast cancer and do something about it. She signed up as a volunteer member of the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC). During her 20 years as a faithful MBCC advocate and volunteer, Carmen was actively involved in the work of the Coalition. For 12 years, she held the office of secretary, and when the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition established our Support Service Fund in 2000, Carmen - passionate about the mission to help financially assist women and men who were diagnosed with breast cancer or had other breast health related needs - jumped in with both feet. She found great fulfillment in sitting on the Support Service Fund Committee which oversaw that fund - right up until metastatic breast cancer robbed her from us earlier this month. 

During her time with the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition, Carmen made three trips to the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Advocate Conference in Washington, D.C. and lobbied on Capitol Hill to encourage Maine’s congressional delegation to enact policies impactful to the lives of those living with and at risk of breast cancer.

In 2012, Carmen was the recipient of the "Lifetime Inspiration Award", awarded by the Maine Cancer Foundation to "an individual who has achieved success above and beyond the ordinary in the fight against breast cancer in Maine." She was nominated by long-time friend, Robin Long of Caring Connections at the Bangor Y. Robin had this to say when she nominated Carmen in 2012: “For close to 20 years Carmen has been on some kind of breast cancer treatment. I find her inspirational because, in her own words, ‘I don't let the cancer live my life, I live my life because I love being alive.’ In spite of being in treatment almost continously for the last two decades, she has done the things she enjoys. She is always willing to speak with someone who has been newly diagnosed with metastatic disease, providing a postive and hopeful message.”

This is just who Carmen was…positive…hopeful…strong. Even though she had no idea where her strength came from, she was a miracle who beat the odds (and 3-year average life expectancy for being diagnosed stage 4 metastatic) by living with metastatic breast cancer for 25 years. She didn’t just live, she thrived. She was actively involved in our work right up until the very end and will be greatly missed when we convene for our next face-to-face meeting in June. There is no doubt that looking ahead, much of our MBCC mission will be compelled forward under the motivation of being “for Carmen.” 

Finally, we would like to leave you with a message to anyone out there who has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer from Carmen herself: “Because there are so many different kinds of breast cancers, everybody is so different. What is right for one woman might not be right for another. Communicate with your oncologist. Let him/her know how you feel and be your own advocate or if you can’t, let a family member be one for you. I believe that everyone should live their life one day at a time and to the fullest, and always remember that quality of life means more than quantity.” Carmen fully embodied this message every single day of her life – before and after her metastatic breast cancer diagnosis - and we will continue to carry on our mission in her memory and honor.


Breast Cancer Survivors Needed for Peer-based Exercise Research Program: Moving Forward Together 3

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is offering breast cancer survivors still less than five years from diagnosis to take part in a great research opportunity. Participants must be finished with all chemo and radiation and will need your physician to sign off on your participation. Find out more here.

Open Arms Support Group

Open Arms Support Group is a non-profit organization of women helping newly diagnosed breast cancer patients navigate through the process of healing and surviving. Groups meet at the Carol Strauss Conference Room, St. Joseph Hospital, 360 Broadway, Bangor.

For information call 207-478-0388 or email Brooke Ismail at brookeismail@yahoo.com


In Loving Memory of Penny McKenna

In 2012, Penny McKenna joined the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition as a volunteer member. She often represented the Coalition at health fair events and served as the Vice President of our Coalition from January 2015 until she had to step down in late 2016 when her health declined as a result of her breast cancer.

The members of the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition were heartbroken to hear that Penny died on Saturday, July 22, 2017, at the Androscoggin Hospice House, after living with metastatic breast cancer for several years. We are so thankful for the time we spent with Penny and for her dedication to the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition. We extend our deepest condolences to Penny's husband, Kevin, her son, Chris, stepdaughter, Kate, and all of her extended family and friends.

We were all very blessed to have known her and will continue to advocate for all those living with and at risk of breast cancer to honor her memory.

You may read the obituary and leave condolence messages here


Demand Equal Access to Lymphedema Treatment

We need to fix a critical gap in insurance coverage for lymphedema treatment. Ask your members of Congress to cosponsor the Lymphedema Treatment Act.

Currently, Medicare and many private insurance policies fail to cover the costs of the daily compression supplies people with lymphedema need to control their swelling. People who can’t afford these supplies are left with worsening lymphedema, which can lead to infections and even long-term disability.

The Lymphedema Treatment Act would end this injustice by changing Medicare law to cover compression supplies—setting an important precedent for Medicaid and other insurers to do the same. Read more.


MBCC Representatives Attend the National Breast Cancer Coalition Advocacy Summit

On May 20, 2017, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition President, Bethany Zell, and advocacy committee co-member, Laurel Bezanson, (both volunteers) once again headed to Washington, DC to represent the MBCC at the National Breast Cancer Coalition Advocate Leadership Summit. 

MBCC President Bethany Zell wrote, "Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® is the National Breast Cancer Coalition's global initiative to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. As leaders in the breast cancer movement and supporters of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, we are committed to being a part of this important work."


MBCC President Bethany Zell Interviews Dr. Hyman Muss

While at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 10, 2016, Maine Breast Cancer Coalition President Bethany Zell had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Hyman Muss of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to discuss Assessment and Treatment of Breast Cancer in Older Adults. View the video here.

Have Lots of Returnable Bottles and Cans?

Please show your support for the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition by donating the proceeds from your returnable bottles and cans to MBCC through the Hannaford CLYNK program.

It's easy as 1-2-3 to take part! Read more.


Metastatic Breast Cancer Project

Help transform our understanding of metastatic breast cancer.
If you have metastatic breast cancer, join a nationwide movement of patients, doctors, and scientists by sharing your tumor samples, your medical information, and your voice. Together, we can speed the development of future therapies.

Sign up or learn more at MBCproject.org. For a printable one-page information sheet, click here.


Do You Have Metastatic Breast Cancer?

Metastatic breast cancer patients, this is your last chance to complete the Metastatic Breast Cancer Collateral Damage Project questionnaire, which is part of the Health of Women (HOW) Study™. The questionnaire closes on September 25th, 2016 at 11:59pm PDT.

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation launched the opening survey for the Metastatic Breast Cancer Collateral Damage Project. If you have metastatic breast cancer, you can play a role in improving quality of life for people with this disease by taking 15 minutes to complete a five-question survey.

The survey is a critical first step in documenting the full extent of collateral damage caused by the disease or its treatment. The long-term goal is to develop a set of recommendations that will improve the quality of life for people living with metastatic breast cancer.
TAKE THE SURVEY


Great Music For a Great Cause!

Cover and CDs

The Pink Album is an exclusive 2-CD collection of contemporary music by 27 of Maine's leading female singers and songwriters to benefit the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition Support Service Fund. Nearly two hours of great music! 

To purchase: This double CD set is available for only $19.99 at all Bull Moose Music locations statewide. It can also be ordered from Maine Breast Cancer Coalition directly. Download the order form here.

 


Breast Cancer Action: Lymphedema Treatment Act

Two out of five breast cancer patients will develop lymphedema within five years of surgery. Yet, some women won't have access to treatment. 

Tell your Congressmembers to cosponsor the Lymphedema Treatment Act TODAY, so that every woman can get the medical care she needs: http://bit.ly/1PkJuXY

Cleaning For a Reason

Cleaning For A Reason is a nonprofit organization that serves the United States and Canada. Services are currently available in the Portland, Maine area. Their mission is to give the gift of free house cleaning for women undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. Their goal is to let these brave and strong women focus on their health and treatment while they focus on, and take away the worry and work of, cleaning their homes– free of charge. Find out more at www.cleaningforareason.org.

Coming Soon to Your Pink Ribbon-Plated Car ...

Did you know that the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition is one of the three organizations, along with the Maine Breast and Cervical Health Program and the Maine Cancer Foundation, that receives a portion of the proceeds from Maine’s pink ribbon license plate?  

If you have a pink ribbon-plated car, be on the lookout for a special THANK YOU note from the Maine Breast Cancer Coalition … coming soon to YOUR CAR!!! 


Breast Cancer Freebies

Help for the body, soul, and pocketbook---when you need it most!
The Breast Cancer Freebies website provides information and links to many organizations "whose mission it is to make the breast cancer journey a little easier and take the burden off your wallet with free wigs, hats, make-up, house cleaning, transportation, and more."

SHARE: No-cost Services For Women Facing Breast or Ovarian Cancer

SHARE is a non-profit organization for women facing breast and ovarian cancer. Because a cancer diagnosis can be so overwhelming, SHARE makes it their mission to provide support services to those affected by these potentially fatal diseases. 

All services are free of charge. SHARE provides telephone support, support groups, educational programs, and advocacy activities. 

TOLL-FREE HELPLINE: 844-ASK-SHARE (844-275-7427)  


PublicHealth.org

PublicHealth.org is committed to bringing today’s most pressing local, national, and global health issues to the forefront of public discourse. They recently published a summary report of the state of cancer in America. From the report: "Although cancer takes many forms, there are four that claim the lives of over a quarter of a million Americans every year: breast, prostate, lung, and colon/rectum." 

Click here to view PublicHealth.org's guide and short animated video, Cancer in America.


Breast Cancer Deadline 2020

The Breast Cancer Deadline 2020

The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) has a unique history and an unmatched record of accomplishment in breast cancer. Since NBCC’s inception in 1991, the organization’s mission has been to end breast cancer. Now, NBCC has set a deadline: Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® – to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020.

One Million Women :: One Research Goal :: One Revolutionary Opportunity

working for a future without breast cancer 
It's been eight years since the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation launched the Army of Women, a groundbreaking initiative that partners women with breast cancer researchers to find the key to what causes breast cancer and take science beyond a cure to prevention. 

 


Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Health of Women Study

The Health Of Women (HOW) Study is a first-of-its-kind international online study for women and men with and without a history of breast cancer.

The Study is being conducted at the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, in collaboration with City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Click here to join the HOW Study or find out more. 


An Important Resource for Maine Women

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) seeks to create greater access to health care by getting more people covered by insurance. For women who have purchased coverage on the Marketplace or other privately purchased plans, but continue to be burdened by premiums, deductibles and co-pays that prevent them from receiving breast cancer screening services, the Maine CDC Breast and Cervical Health Program (MBCHP) can be a valuable resource for women needing breast and/or cervical cancer screening and follow-up services.