You know what you had was an phenomenal gift. I have lost so many good friends and family and losing them hurt, but I imagine life would be less beautiful how painful if we only knew those that we could let go of easily? Our life is enriched because we have great people in it. They are precious gifts. We do not control when we lose them and that is what makes it all so precious. It’s a guarantee that we will one day die, and others will be left behind missing us. Our job is to meet great people, enjoy them everyday, value what they contribute and love them. When we lose them we must mourn their loss and celebrate all that they taught us.
Everyday I do difficult advocacy work. I do it because it needs to be done. I do it with people who are gifts and they believe passionately that we need to find a way to end breast cancer. Simply put, it can be done and no one else will do it if we don’t. We work hard together and we laugh and love and enjoy meaningful debate and discussions. We invite discourse so that we can learn more from each other. And we value one another! We are a community because we all believe in www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org. Since most of them are breast cancer survivors, some of them lose their battle and die. But they stay with me everyday.
I remember meeting an incredibly smart, passionate and strategic advocate, Christine Brunswick in 1999 at my first National Breast Cancer Coalition Advocacy Conference. I learned so much from her about how to effectively make your point. We discussed breast cancer in young women and she welcomed me to try and make a difference by adding our voices to the advocacy movement. With her encouragement, The Young Survival Coalition became a board member organization to The National Breast Cancer Coalition in 2001. We remain one today and she was always there to encourage our participation. Christine was a young mother diagnosed with an early stage breast cancer more than two decades ago. She began to battle metastatic disease a few years ago. She passed away on Monday, February 25th, 2013 after battling both metastatic breast and cervical cancer. So many of us will miss her.
Christine believed that if we set a deadline to end breast cancer and got everyone involved with cancer research, treatment and advocacy behind the deadline we could end this disease. Hilary Clinton was so moved by Christine’s passion that she wrote a letter of condolence to everyone who knew and loved Christine.
I promise to continue to work to end breast cancer with Christine’s spirit and enthusiasm. If you wish to support my work to end breast cancer you can do that by donating to our mission to end the disease with my fundraising page.