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October 31, 2017

From Breast Cancer Patient to Breast Cancer Board Member

Akron, Ohio's best kept secret may revolutionize breast cancer treatment.
PUBLISHED November 03, 2017
As well as being a cancer blogger, Laura Yeager is a religious essayist and a mental health blogger. A graduate of The Writers’ Workshop at The University of Iowa, she teaches writing at Kent State University and Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Laura survived cancer twice.
As you might know from reading my blog posts here at curetoday.com, Akron, Ohio is my hometown.

Back in the day, Akron, Ohio was all about rubber. The city was known as “The Rubber Capital of the World.” It even smelled like rubber. Waiting for the school bus in the 1970s, I breathed in the sharp, pungent scent and knew that my father was busy at work writing ad copy for Seiberling Tire and Rubber Company.

Now, Akron is known for its polymer research.

In the future, Akron might be known for innovative breast cancer research. Judit E. Puskas, Ph.D., a chemical and biomolecular engineer at The University of Akron, is pioneering a new type of breast cancer implant that detects and cures breast cancer. She is my new inspiration in the battle against cancer.

I recently attended a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer Innovation Foundation in Akron on Oct. 5, 2017, where I met Puskas. I liked her instantly. She greeted me warmly, grasping both of my hands in her own.

Puskas’ research has to do with creating a polymer mat (much like a piece of cloth) onto which anti-cancer medication can be applied. The mat would then be wrapped around a woman’s silicone implant and would release medication slowly over time. Theoretically, this new technology would eliminate the need for traditional chemotherapy. That’s a lot of hours in a chemo chair wiped out! It is Puskas’ hope that this new breast cancer treatment would do away with the negative side effects of hair and weight loss.

Last week, I attended a board meeting for the Breast Cancer Innovation Foundation (the group that put on the fundraiser mentioned above) where I was asked to join the board.

I went from breast cancer patient to breast cancer board member!

I have to say I am highly honored and have accepted the invitation.

At the end of last week’s board meeting, Puskas told us about a Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon in Cuyahoga Falls, a suburb of Akron, occurring on Oct. 31, 2017. She said that she was going and invited us to attend. The event was sponsored by Western Reserve Hospital.

I went to the luncheon, where I saw Puskas, who handed me some brochures for the Breast Cancer Innovation Foundation, and I found myself passing them out and spreading her message.

It is the foundation’s immediate hope to raise $100,000 for Puskas’ upcoming research.

Surrounded by so many women who care about the breast cancer cause, I feel empowered like I’ve never felt before. Change and innovation come due to extraordinary people such as Puskas. What’s nice is when these extraordinary people have an “ordinary” side and are completely approachable and welcoming.

So I am taking baby steps in being the change I want to see in the world.

Cancer can take away your soul. By becoming active in the breast cancer community in Akron, I feel like I’m getting mine back.

Thank you, Dr. Puskas, for giving me a chance to help make a difference and to help you put Akron on the map for innovative breast cancer research! Who knows? Maybe the cure for cancer will come from Akron. 

You are truly an inspiration!



To donate to the Breast Cancer Innovation Foundation, go to www.breastcancerinnovation.com.
 
 
 
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