On November 13th, I represented The Young Survival Coalition with other advocates who worked hard to collect 75,000 petition signatures in support of The National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Deadline 2020 campaign. We were welcomed and hosted by Hallie Schneir, Associate Director of White House Office of Public Engagement and Carole Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor, White House Domestic Policy Council. Hallie asked us to tell her more about our campaign and we explained that too many women are still being diagnosed with and losing their lives to breast cancer and we advocates are collaborating with researchers, inventors, clinicians and all the stakeholders in an effort to know how to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. My colleagues and I discussed different ways that the administration could work with advocates across the country to improve healthcare outcomes and help us achieve the mission of ending breast cancer for our next generations. Hallie asked each of us to talk about the advocates across the country who are the faces behind the petition signatures. I told her about members of The Young Survival Coalition, what a pre-memopausal diagnosis is like, the toxic side effects of current treatments and how we are all in this to end it for future generations. We heard from other amazing advocates representing other breast cancer advocacy groups from as far away as Louisiana and California, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, New York and Delaware to name a few. Hallie asked thoughtful questions about what we needed to do to save women’s lives and invited us to engage in future discussions and roundtables.
While we all know that it’s such a difficult time to get any meaningful legislation passed on Capitol Hill, beginning the discussion is necessary and all of your voices together helped us to gain access to the White House. Hallie thanked us for holding their feet to the fire and demanding meaningful improvements. We are looking forward to working with them further in improving outcomes for all women affected by breast cancer.