Breast Cancer Help, Inc. Accomplishments

huntington_started• 1992 Originated the first ever breast cancer mapping project which spearheaded the breast cancer environmental movement.

• 1992 In April Rebba testified at hearings in Nassau County on the environment and its link to breast cancer and petitioned the CDC to explore the breast cancer epidemic on Long Island and helped to launch the Long Island Breast Cancer Study.


• 1992 In May a small group of women, of which Rebba was an active participant of, lobbied for funding for breast cancer scientific research nationwide for the DOD through the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

• 1992 In May we lobbied in Washington for funding of the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project. The project was supported by Senators D’Amato and King and was funded with Columbia University being the Principal Investigator and Stony Brook UMC studying electromagnetic fields.


• 1993 The mapping project led to the 1st and only rally on the steps of the H. Lee Dennison building, resulting in the formation of the Suffolk County Breast Health Partnership.

• 1994 Breast Cancer Help, Inc. is formed.

• 1994 The first breast care center on Long Island is established at Good Samaritan Hospital through the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition (which Rebba started) as a result of the mapping project.

• 1994 First Annual Walk for Beauty, which has since raised almost 1 million dollars for Stony Brook University Medical Center.


• 1994 to present we have assisted more than 25 breast cancer coalitions to form locally and nationally, including Sisters for Sisters, the Witness Project of LI, the Marin County Breast Cancer Watch which is now Zero Breast Cancer and Silent Spring in Massachusetts among others.

• 1994 Initiated the move to establish a toll free cancer helpline at Stony Brook University Medical Center.


• 1994 Supported a 250 million dollar increase in federal funding for breast cancer research through President Clinton.

• 1994 Helped to change federal regulations to provide insurance coverage for stem cell therapy for federal employees.

• 1994 Testified at NYS hearings on possible link between the environment and breast cancer (ex. Heavy metals – cadmium, chromium & cyanide).


• 1994 Obtained $80,000 from NYS Assemblyman Paul Harenberg to improve prostate and breast cancer care in the Dept. of Radiation Oncology at Stony Brook University Hospital.

• 1995 Supported passage of the NYS law that ends drive through mastectomies and ensures that HMO and insurance companies cover the bill.

• 1996 Spearheaded the first ever Breast Cancer Awareness Stamp through the efforts of Congressman William King, former Senator Alfonse D’Arpin and Congressman Keith Fuller.


• 1996 Led the movement, along with Kathleen, to create the check-off on the NYS income tax form enabling taxpayers to make a contribution to the NYS Breast Cancer Research and Education Fund and subsequently supported legislation introduced by NYS Assemblyman Englebright, authorizing the state to provide a dollar for dollar match in 2000.

• 1996 Breast Cancer Help, Inc. assisted in forming the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund and the naming of the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Care Center at Stony Brook University Medical Center. Dr. Harris, William King, Anthony Patel and Dr. Walter Inman were charter members and Dr. Harris still donates his time for research. The fund has raised over a million dollars for breast cancer research.


• 1997 Initiated the move to update and expand the NYS Cancer Registry supported by Steve Englebright, Willie Madrid and the Assembly which passed the Senate.

• 1997 Rebba appeared in two breast cancer documentaries, Rachel’s Daughters, by Allie Light, follows a group of women – all breast cancer activists who are fighting or have survived the disease – who are on a personal mission to unearth the causes of breast cancer, and Say It, Fight It, Cure It, directed by Lee Grant, produced by Feury Productions, features support groups, doctors and activists whose lives are dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.


• 1997 Through Senator Frederick Jones, the requirement of certification of the hospital registrars to ensure accuracy of the Registry was established.

• 1998 Initiated the passage of the NYS Breast/Testicular Education Law, sponsored by Senator LaValle, mandating the teaching of breast and testicular cancer self-exam as part of the curriculum in high school health classes.

• 1998 lobbied actively for the NYS Pesticide Registry and the Neighborhood Notification Law along with other groups.


• 1998 The Cancer Surveillance Improvement Initiative supported by Senator Kemp Hannon and Assemblyman Richard Brodsky created a statewide map showing cancer rates by zip codes.

• 1998 Supported President Bill Clinton’s Patient Bill of Rights.


• 1999 Supported passage of the NYS Adoption law, introduced by Assemblyman Robert Sweeney, allowing cancer patients to adopt children.

• 2000 The Long Island Cancer Center at Stony Brook UMC is opened and is the recipient of a 5 million dollar grant obtained by former Congressman Mike Forbes and procured with the assistance of Breast Cancer Help, Inc.


• 2001 Contributed $100,000, in addition to a grant of $250,000 through Suffolk County Executive Robert Gaffney and Legislator Cameron Alden, which allowed Stony Brook University Hospital to purchase the first two of three modules for the Novalis Radio Surgery system.

• 2001 Long Island’s first digital mammography system for clinical use is delivered to Stony Brook UMC. Breast Cancer Help, Inc. guarantees a 63 month lease for a GE Digital Mammography System and began making lease payments exceeding $7,000 per month. NYS Senator Caesar Trunzo aides in this cause by obtaining a $250,000 grant to pay 32 months of payments.


• 2002 A 1 million dollar grant is procured by Breast Cancer Help, Inc. from Congressman Felix Grucci to establish a patient data base at Stony Brook UMC.

• 2003 Opened the Long Island Cancer Help & Wellness Center, providing cancer survivors with needed awareness, education and support through complementary integrative modalities that meet their psychosocial needs.


• 2003 Contributed half the funds to purchase a new CAD stream MRI reader for Stony Brook University Hospital.

• 2003 Supported legislation signed into law by Governor Pataki requiring a clinical breast exam by a physician when a mammography is performed.

• 2004 Through the help of the Sons of Italy, $25,000 was donated for breast cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


• 2005 Also teaming with the Sons of Italy, $10,000 was used to purchase a frameless head immobilizer for Stony Brook University Hospital’s stereotactic radiotherapy system.

• 2005 Joined with Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County and the Village of Lindenhurst to kick-off an environmentally-friendly weed management study.

• 2006 Breast Cancer Help, Inc. is awarded a $250,000 grant from Congressman Peter King to enable us to purchase permanent office space.


• 2006 Breast Cancer Help, Inc. establishes a Spanish hotline run by Lillian Meek, RN.

• 2006 Map of Destiny is released, written by Joan Swirsky.

• 2007 Breast Cancer Help, Inc. moves to Bay Shore, NY and is joined by A Personal Touch Boutique, which carries a full line of breast care products and garments.


• 2007 Knights of Columbus donates $30,000 to us to be used to purchase a digital mammography system for North Shore LIJ Southside Hospital.

• 2008 Breast Cancer Help, Inc. is awarded a $500,000 grant from Senators Gatlin and Acosta for a digital mammography system for North Shore LIJ Southside Hospital to provide state of the art diagnosis including the underserved population.