During this month, a lot of money will be raised for breast cancer. Here’s the organization that I’ll be supporting and why. I hope you’ll consider it when you make your own donations.
Dr. Susan Love is the President and Medical Director of The Susan Love Breast Cancer Foundation which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of breast cancer. I just love that word, eradicate, when it comes to breast cancer (or any cancer). Words like eradicate, cure, prevent, speak to me, and Dr. Susan Love is one of the most important people in this effort.
I also have a personal reason to be kind of in love with Dr. Love. When I was diagnosed, I had a circuitous route where I started out with a single and easily found lump, but discovered later through an MRI that I had a 2nd lump, far away from the first, which was tiny and never visible on my mammogram(s) because of my dense breasts. Because there were 2 separate tumors in the one breast, my breast surgeon recommended that I have a mastectomy on that breast which was not something I had expected, based on the original prognosis of a Stage 2 tumor.
In the face of a mastectomy recommendation, I wanted a second opinion. And during 2010, I had a client who worked with Dr. Susan Love. As soon as I told my client about my breast cancer diagnosis, she said that she would hook me up with Dr. Love. I thought it was all pie in the sky.
By this time, I’d already read Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book, the bible of breast cancer books, and was of course already well aware of her expertise in this area. Why would Dr. Love spend time with me, when she’s got so many other priorities, plus she’s in California, I’m in New Jersey, and I’m not even her patient, and she’s a veritable breast cancer/women’s health celebrity for crying out loud!
But the client was gently persistent, and gave me Dr. Love’s assistant’s contact info. I sent the assistant a quick email giving her my case background and diagnosis and she promptly got back to me to schedule a call with Dr. Love and asked me to send them my biopsy reports and a recap of the procedures I’d had to date.
Later that week, Dr. Love called and we discussed my case for at least 45 minutes. I remember one of the first things she said to me was, “Well, this isn’t what’s going to kill you,” and I immediately fell in love with her. She had this way of being very blunt, yet highly compassionate and gently humorous, which is right up my ally. I was so impressed and awe struck that she would spend so much time with me, when I wasn’t even her patient.
She gave me extremely helpful insights. She concurred with my surgeon’s mastectomy recommendation, and then said that when I was done with all my chemo, I should ask for a 2nd MRI to be sure that all of the tumors were gone, something none of my other doctors had suggested. She talked about what I would need to do to weigh my future decision of a mastectomy and gave me recommendations on getting a 2nd opinion. She even asked me to follow up with her after my chemo and surgeries were done.
She’s the real deal. This woman wants to help other women with breast cancer. That’s it. There’s no hidden agenda, no ego or arrogance, she just wants to help women who currently have breast cancer, and to help eradicate breast cancer so that future women won’t have to deal with it. Simple as that.
So, when you think about donating to a breast cancer organization this month or in the future, please consider Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
The Army of Women study was begun by Dr. Love in 2008 as a method to partner women with researchers to enable research into the causes of breast cancer. In Dr. Love’s words:
“Over and over I’ve heard scientists lament how difficult it is for them to find the volunteers they need for research studies. I’ve long believed that helping scientists overcome this obstacle would accelerate our understanding of what causes breast cancer and how to end it. By responding to this need, the Army of Women will change the face of breast cancer research.”
The HOW Study is a first of its kind international online study for women and men with or without a history of breast cancer. The study will collect information about your health, job, diet and family history to help the foundation get a better understanding of breast cancer and its potential causes.
Please consider joining both studies which are free and, of course, completely confidential, this month.