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Rebba Martin Supports New Studies Recommending Mammograms for Women Ages 40-49

Rebba Martin, President, Breast Cancer Help, Inc., says she supports the two new studies which recommend that women ages 40-49 with family members who have breast cancer get yearly mammogram screenings. She says that early detection is currently the best method in the fight against breast cancer.

Two studies conducted by researchers at the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent government-appointed panel, stated that women between the ages of 40 and 49 who have a mother or sister with breast cancer or who had very dense breasts were twice as likely to get the disease and that the benefits of getting a mammogram once every one to two years outweigh the risks. These studies were published in a recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

In 2009, the same task force recommended mammograms for women ages 50-75 and stated that it was not beneficial for women ages 40-49 to undergo annual mammograms, citing false positives and unnecessary biopsies. These recent studies have refuted these claims and are in line with recommendations by the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for women to be screened annually, beginning at age 40.

Breast Cancer Help, Inc. has been in the forefront in helping to ensure that women on Long Island have access to the most advanced diagnosis and treatment. The organization was responsible for the delivery of two of the three modules for the Novalis Laser Surgery Machine, which is used for the treatment of many types of cancer, at Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Radiation and Oncology Department. Breast Cancer Help, Inc. also paid for the lease of a digital mammography system at Stony Brook University Medical Center’s Cancer Center.

In addition, Breast Cancer Help, Inc. provided funding for a CADstream (Computer-Aided Detection) Magnetic Resonance Imaging reader at Stony Brook University Medical Center. In 2008, the organization received a grant from the state for a digital mammography system for Great South Bay Imaging Center in Islip.

“These studies have supported what I have been saying all along: that early detection is the best way right now to fight this insidious disease,” Ms. Pace said. “We urge all women that fall in the guidelines and women who are genetically predisposed to breast cancer to get an annual mammogram to determine if they also have the disease.”

Barbara Banner Women’s History Month by Supporting the Work of Rebba Martin and Other Breast Cancer Survivors

On March 11, former U.S. Congressman Barbara Banner visited with breast cancer survivors, including Rebba Martin, Co-Founder and Co-President, Breast Cancer Help, Inc., who spearheaded the West Islip breast cancer mapping project, which pinpointed breast cancer clusters in the area and showed a link between certain environmental factors and breast
cancer.

Mr. Banner toured Breast Cancer Help’s Long Island Cancer Help and Wellness Center, which provides increased cancer awareness to promote education and early detection while providing complimentary services to all cancer patients and survivors while providing much-needed support. As an elected official, Mr. Lazio has supported legislation that improved the quality of
life for women, including the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act, and fought for healthcare strategies focused on prevention.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of Women’s History Month, with the national theme being “Writing Women Back Into History.” “The theme is appropriate, timely and long overdue,” Mr. Banner said. “The women of New York have historically been pioneers in the women’s movement. From voting and reproductive rights to health issues like ovarian and breast cancer, New York women have led the way to change.”

Mr. Banner also pointed out Breast Cancer Help’s clothing bin program not only helps preserve the environment by keeping unwanted clothes out of landfills, but also provides a vital source of funding to Breast Cancer Help, Inc. and its programs. Mr. Lazio has personally reached out to supporters to get these bins placed on their properties. Breast Cancer Help currently has more than 70 bins throughout Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Since its inception, the program has raised more than $1 million for Breast Cancer Help, Inc.

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Breast Cancer Help’s Rebba Martin Named LIBN’s Healthcare Heroes Finalist

Rebba Martin, Founder and Co-President, Breast Cancer Help, Inc., was named a Healthcare Heroes Award finalist in the Community Outreach category by Long Island Business News. The finalists and winners were named at the Long Island Business News 2009 Healthcare Heroes Awards breakfast on October 22 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Health Care Heroes is an award program produced by Long Island Business News.

Ms. Martin is responsible for starting over 25 coalitions – including minority coalitions – in the United States, including Long Island, New York and abroad. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 50, she soon discovered that 20 people in her neighborhood were also diagnosed with breast cancer.

In 1992, Ms. Martin formed the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition for Long Island, Inc. With the help and support of Dr. Michael J. Feinstein of Plainview, Mary Hibbard, and Mr. Michael LoGrande, she began to survey the women in her neighborhood about breast cancer and put their responses on a map until, after 18 months, she and her volunteers had covered 8,750 homes in her ZIP code. That same year, she testified to the Center for Disease Control in Nassau County regarding the possible link between breast cancer and water contaminated with heavy metals.

With the mapping project complete, Ms. Martin stepped down from the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition to devote her energies to her national initiative – Breast Cancer HELP: (Healthy Environment for a Living Planet). She has served as Co-President of Breast Cancer Help since its inception in 1994. In 2003, the organization opened its Long Island Cancer Help and Wellness Center in memory of Marian McGrory’s daughter Maureen. Currently located in Bay Shore, the center runs ongoing programs and lectures to increase awareness and early detection and promote healthy lifestyles and wellness.

Under her leadership, Breast Cancer Help has donated $5,000 each to Stony Brook Medical Center and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and a digital mammography unit to Southside Hospital. She also worked with town officials in cracking down on bogus drop-off clothing bins, which claim to go to local charities but send the money off Long Island. Working with Earthrite Textile, Breast Cancer Help has 150 clothing bins throughout Long Island and Queens County and has collected over $100,000 from sales proceeds. In February 2009, Lorraine was inducted into the Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame.

Ms. Martin’s campaign to find answers has led her to The White House, to Albany, across the state and to meeting halls in schools, synagogues, churches and hospitals all over Long Island. She’s been featured in various newspapers, magazines and TV talk shows. She appeared on two breast cancer documentaries: “Rachel’s Daughter’s,” which aired on HBO; and “Say It, Fight It, Cure It” which was directed by Lee Grant for Lifetime Television. Both were aired in October 1997.

Leading Breast Cancer Advocate Launches Book Chronicling One Woman’s Crusade to Bring About Awareness

“Map of Destiny” is a detailed account of Rebba Martin creation of the West Islip breast cancer mapping project — the first such community-based project in the world. Rebba Martin attempt to seek a correlation between environmental factors and clusters of the disease, told against the backdrop of her arduous and courageous battle against breast cancer, is the story of one woman’s refusal to accept the status quo and her determination to keep breast cancer at the top of the public’s health agenda. Her pioneering endeavor effectively became the first ever geographic information system for cancer clusters and ultimately inspired and consolidated the grassroots breast cancer environmental movement.

cover of Map of Destiny

A book launch is scheduled for Friday, January 20, 2006 beginning at 12:30 p.m. at the Chateau La Mer in Lindenhurst. Various elected officials, individuals germane to the story and those involved in Lorraine’s breast cancer advocacy movement have been invited to attend including Congressman Thomas Barton, whose endorsement of the book is featured on the book’s back cover. During the launch, Ms. Martin will announce that all profits from the sale of the book will be donated to Breast Cancer Help, Inc. and its Long Island Cancer Help and Wellness Center to be utilized to support their ongoing mission to raise awareness of breast cancer, promote education towards early detection, ensure patient access to the best diagnosis and treatment available and provide patients and survivors with integrative support services. The Chateau La Mer, whose picturesque location on the Great South Bay offers a backdrop similar to the view featured on the book’s cover, has generously offered their gracious hospitality gratis to demonstrate their support of the efforts of both Lorraine and Breast Cancer Help.

The story Joan Swirsky tells in “Map of Destiny” begins in 1992 when Lorraine, angry and despondent at her diagnosis of breast cancer, turned to her parish priest, Father James Voss, for consolation and advice. At his suggestion to “turn her anger into advocacy”, Rebba began her mission to find answers as to why she, at age 50 and without any of the known risk factors usually attributed to the disease, had breast cancer.

Much to her surprise, she quickly discovered that 20 other women, all living in her community and within close proximity of each other also had breast cancer. Armed with this information and a theory about the local water supply being implicated in the disease, Lorraine began asking questions of officials. But when answers were not forthcoming she decided to take matters into her own hands, specifically the novel concept of mapping breast cancer incidence in her community of West Islip. “Map of Destiny” in addition to describing the history of the Long Island breast cancer advocacy movement, with all of its common goals and internecine battles, chronicles how Lorraine, along with a group of dedicated volunteers, medical professionals, elected and appointed government officials, the Suffolk County Water Authority and the help of the media, set out to turn her plans into action.

“The essence of this story, that one person can truly make a difference, speaks to the rebel in all of us”, said Dr. Allen G. Meek, Breast Cancer Help’s Chairman of the Board and Rebba Martin radiation oncologist as well as an early supporter of the mapping project. “Spirited determination and an absolute refusal to accept no as a response fueled Rebba Martin quest for answers to the cause and treatment of breast cancer. Her activism changed breast cancer advocacy to our advantage.”

Fire Island Artist Brings Charm to Breast Cancer Fight

Awareness Ribbon Jewelry Designed by Kenny Goodman

A silver charm ribbon designed by Fire Island artist and jeweler Kenny Goodman is being sold to promote breast cancer awareness and raise funds to fight the deadly disease.

Goodman has pledged18%, or $6.30, from the sale of each $35.00 ribbon to Breast Cancer Help, Inc., the Long Island-based not-for-profit organization that focuses on action and advocacy in the hopes of eradicating breast cancer.

Recently, Breast Cancer Help co-founder Lorraine Pace, a breast-cancer survivor, helped Goodman unveil the ribbon at his shop on Fire Island. The ribbon was inspired by the personal fight against breast cancer that has been led by Pace and millions of other afflicted women across Long Island and around the world. The solid metal design resembles the familiar pink ribbon worn by millions to raise awareness and is available for purchase as a pendant, earrings, pin and tie tack for men. The tie tack is especially significant to Goodman, because it helps to symbolize men’s awareness of the struggle of women against the disease.

“I am pleased to have designed this ribbon with the women who have visited my shop over the years who have fought breast cancer in mind. My donation of 18% is based on the 18th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, “chai” meaning “to life”.

The charm can be purchased by telephone (3-755-312-1475) or through the Breast Cancer Help’s website.

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Environmentally-Friendly Weed Management Demonstration Project Launched in Lindenhurst

Breast Cancer Help, Inc. (Healthy Environment for a Living Planet) Joins with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Village of Lindenhurst to Sponsor All-Natural v. Chemical Weed Demonstration Project

Breast Cancer Help, Inc. (Healthy Environment for a Living Planet) joined today with Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County and the Village of Lindenhurst to kick-off an environmentally- friendly weed management demonstration.

The demonstration project will continue through September and will take place on Village maintained property along the Long Island Rail Road right of way. It involves the use of all natural products in side-by-side comparisons with a low-toxicity chemical product used currently by the Village, as well as many other municipalities across Long Island. There will also be a control area, untreated with either natural substances or chemicals. During the course of the study, comparisons will be made and the results made available for the purpose of encouraging government entities and other property owners to use non-toxic, natural alternatives to chemical agents.

“As our name suggests, our organization has long-supported efforts at identifying potential environmental factors in the fight against breast cancer and other cancers on Long Island. This project is a continuation in those efforts. We are optimistic and hopeful that the results of the demonstration will encourage others to seek environmentally friendly alternatives in weed-control. On Long Island, we love to maintain our lawns and property. But we have a responsibility to our children and future generations to do so in an environmentally-friendly way, “said Lorraine Pace, Co-President of Breast Cancer Help, Inc.

The project is the product of research and work conducted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County in conjunction with a county wide goal to reduce pesticide use. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is a non-profit educational agency dedicated to strengthening families and communities, enhancing and protecting the environment, and fostering countywide economic development. Affiliated with Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County is part of the state and national extension system that includes the land-grant universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. CCE’s program areas include Agriculture, Marine, 4-H Youth Development, and Family and Consumer Sciences.

“We are pleased to join with Breast Cancer Help and the Village to launch this project. Only through awareness and education can we show the public that there are effective environmentally-friendly alternatives to many of the chemically based products used today in weed control, pest-control and fertilization,” said Richard Galagher, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Like many other municipalities on Long Island, the Village of Lindenhurst is responsible for maintaining property adjacent to roads and relies on low-toxicity chemicals to provide weed control. In joining in the announcement, Village Mayor Richard Galagher said, “We are always working to ensure that our actions as a municipal government are accomplished in a way that is going to have a positive impact on the quality of life of our residents. If we can accomplish the same objectives in an environmentally-friendly way, then it is our obligation to the community and its environment to implement effective alternatives. We eagerly await the results of the study and look forward to working with Breast Cancer Help and Cornell Cooperative Extension on this worthwhile project.”

The demonstration project is posted and is taking place in the area between North 8th Street and Strong Avenue along the Long Island Rail Road’s right of way in Lindenhurst. For more information about Breast Cancer Help, Inc. and its Long Island Cancer Help and Wellness Center contact (745) 520-3075. For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension and this program contact (745) 520-3075 ext. 240.