Passion and Persistence in the Face of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic Breast Cancer Heroes™, CURE® Metastatic Breast Cancer Heroes™ 2021 Essay Book, Volume 1,

The metastatic breast cancer community is a unique, strong-willed group of people who were honored in our inaugural Metastatic Breast Cancer HeroesTM program.

THE INAUGURAL METASTATIC BREAST CANCER HEROESTM awards program was held in December 2021. Even though it was held virtually, the passion and dedication of our three heroes were palpable through our computer screens.

The metastatic breast cancer community is a unique, strong-willed group of people. Every single person strives to bring awareness to the disease, provide the utmost care to patients, inform those who may not be as familiar with the diagnosis and connect with others who share similar journeys. It’s a tightknit group of people who bring a passion and persistence to the area, an exceptional feat to see in action.

The Metastatic Breast Cancer HeroesTM program, which includes patients, caregivers, advocates and health care professionals, gives people the opportunity to give gratitude and celebrate those who made an impact in the lives of those affected by metastatic breast cancer.

After reading the nominations for our Metastatic Breast Cancer HeroesTM awards, it’s evident that the people recognized for their efforts in the space give their all to every single thing they do. Some will even go the extra length — literally — by way of swimming to raise awareness of metastatic breast cancer.

“(She) has swum in lakes as far away as Ireland, Iceland, Kauai and as close as Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin — all in the name of raising money and awareness,” a fundraiser at an institution wrote in her submission. “Before she enters the water, she says a few words about why she is swimming and always ends her talk with the benediction, ‘Research is our best hope.’ A lot of people with this swimmer’s diagnosis would stay home and rest. Maybe they would do a little virtual fundraising. But taking to the lakes is a unique and personal spin on shedding a light on (her) disease.”

Although we honored three Metastatic Breast Cancer HeroesTM — an oncologist, a patient advocate and a nurse-turned-patient with cancer — it’s important to note that every person nominated for this recognition is truly a hero in our hearts.

We also presented a special Metastatic Breast Cancer Diversity & Inclusion HeroTM award to a woman with metastatic breast cancer who took it upon herself to advocate for others with the disease who experience inequities in health care, including Black men and women. She eventually connected with an epidemiologist with metastatic breast cancer and together they created a questionnaire to learn what barriers Black patients faced when enrolling in clinical trials.

“(She) works every day to ensure that the voice of every person with metastatic breast cancer is heard equally,” her nominator wrote in his submission. “As a person of color, she understands the disparities faced by many — in the waiting room, the doctor’s office, the board room of the pharma conducting the trial and, sadly enough, in the organizations who say they advocate equally for all. And just as she battles her cancer daily, she also fights daily to ensure that everyone with metastatic breast cancer has an equal opportunity.”

We look forward to this year’s Metastatic Breast Cancer HeroesTM awards program, which gives us another chance to learn more about the inspiring patients, caregivers, advocates and health care professionals who make an impact in the lives of those affected by metastatic breast cancer despite the troubles they may face along the way.

— Mike Hennessy Jr.
President and CEO of MJH Life Sciences®

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