|Breast Cancer Help has already made much progress and has made very significant achievements. We have helped to initiate fundamental changes in our nation’s deadly indifference to breast cancer. Possibly the most significant change we have initiated is acceptance of the idea that breast cancer survivors must have a say when research funding decisions are made and policies formed. Our many accomplishments include the following:
Breast Cancer Mapping
We originated the ever-expanding mapping of breast cancer incidence in small geographic areas. More than a dozen organizations on Long Island have continued the effort to help understand the disease and its relationship with our environment. Mapping projects have started to bring new levels of awareness of breast cancer to communities around the world.
Phase One Novalis Radiosurgery
The first module of the Novalis Radiosurgery machine has already been purchased to treat regularly-shaped brain tumors that result from the spread of cancer. It was installed at Stony Brook University Hospital at a cost of $300,000 – money raised through the efforts of Breast Cancer Help.
Breast Cancer Awareness Stamp
In an effort to increase awareness of the growing national tragedy of breast cancer, Diane Sackett Nannery, former Vice-President of Breast Cancer Help, spearheaded a national campaign to create a U.S. “Breast Cancer Awareness” stamp. The postage stamp was issued on June 15, 1996, as a happy result of the advocacy of Diane and Breast Cancer Help.
National Action Plan to Fight Breast Cancer
Lorraine Pace and Breast Cancer Help board member Mary Ann Fox, along with the National Breast Cancer Coalition, recently petitioned President Clinton with 2.6 million signatures, resulting in his full commitment to a National Action Plan to fight breast cancer, and a $250 million increase in federal funding for breast cancer research.
Insurance Coverage for Stem Cell Infusion
Board member Alex Fezza (whose wife, Mary, died of breast cancer) was partially responsible for changing the regulations regarding insurance coverage for stem cell infusion for Federal workers and their spouses. He accomplished this by organizing an aggressive letter-writing campaign to congress and the President.
Additional Accomplishments of Breast Cancer Help and Our Members
- Initiating the establishment of a toll-free Cancer HELPLINE at Stony Brook University Hospital and Medical Center.
- Leading the effort to organize and establish the annual “Walk for Beauty” in Stony Brook.
- Supporting the petition that resulted in President Clinton’s full commitment to a National Action Plan to fight breast cancer and a $250 million increase in federal funding for breast cancer research.
- Supporting passage of the New York State law that ends the practice of drive-through mastectomies by ensuring that HMOs and insurance companies offer hospital coverage to mastectomy patients until each patient and her physician have determined the patient is ready for discharge; this law also mandates that insurers provide coverage to mastectomy patients who choose to undergo reconstructive surgery, so as to remedy the problem of insurers’ labeling such surgery as “cosmetic” and not “medically necessary” to avoid payment.
- Initiating the move to update and expand the New York State Breast Cancer Registry and to require hospital registrar certification for medical records to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the Breast Cancer Registry.
- Initiating the New York State breast and testicular cancer education bill.
- Leading the move to create the “Give a Gift to Breast Cancer” check-off on the New York State income tax form, which enables taxpayers to make a contribution to the New York State Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund, and supporting the subsequent legislation that authorizes the state to provide a dollar-for-dollar match for each contribution made to the Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund.
- Helping to launch the five-year Long Island Breast Cancer Study.
- Advocating for the establishment of the New York State Pesticide Registry.
- Advocating for the establishment of the toll-free federal hotline for public information about all the latest clinical trials related to breast cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
- Testifying at local, state, and federal hearing on the environment and its link to breast cancer and petitioning the Centers for Disease Control to explore the breast cancer epidemic on Long Island.
- Supporting passage of the New York State Adoption Bill that allows breast cancer patients to adopt children, and the New York State Neighborhood Notification Bill that requires 48-hour notice to immediate neighbors before the spraying of pesticides.
- Supporting passage of the Suffolk County law that bans the use of pesticides on new golf courses.
- Raising breast cancer awareness by generating extensive local, regional and national media coverage as well as by contributing to all kinds of public service programs, educational symposiums, and fund-raisers to help.