Today I learned that even I can make a difference.
And so can you.
I was fortunate enough to be able the attend the National Breast Cancer Coalitions (NBCC) 2014 Advocate Leadership Summit. It was an amazing experience that empowered me far more than I expected. NBCC single handedly taught me that I could not only believe in a cause, but I could understand it. I could not only march with the masses, but I could belong. And I could not only do this for NBCC, but I could do it again and again.
|NBCC 2014 Leadership Summit Advocates.|
NBCC is a non profit organization that has set a deadline to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. Its a lofty goal that takes the cooperation of scientist, politicians, and breast cancer advocates. To equip their advocates with the tools needed to end breast cancer, NBCC brought in some amazing speakers for the Leadership Summit that discussed everything from the science of breast cancer and how breast cancer begins, to the reason why scientist have been working on breast cancer research for decades yet haven’t decrease the death rates from the disease. I was able to soak up, in just 3 days, what the exact problems were in the research society and what it would take to fix it.
Did you know that when experiments are done, scientist aren’t required to report on negative results? This means that if one hypothesis is proved wrong in 2014, more researchers and scientist might go on to duplicate that same hypothesis because the negative results were never posted. This is part of the reason why we’ve made such little progress in ending breast cancer, but NBCC is working to change that. For more information on the work that NBCC is doing and to find out how you can help to end breast cancer by 2020, please visit www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org
After gathering the knowledge needed to fight for what we believed in, the Summit Advocates took to the nations capital to encourage our state legislators to support the Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer Acts that are currently in the house and senate. If passed, a commission would form to hold researchers and scientists accountable for what they find. It would also help to ensure that some focus is spent on actually ending breast cancer through vaccines that prevent breast cancer from happening to begin with and that stop metastasis.
|Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition Staff and I making our way to our legislators.|
I marched with them – meeting with Senator Coons’ and Congressman Carney’s office. And I belonged. I knew what I was talking about. And they listened, even if they didn’t want to because what we had to say was important and we weren’t giving up without a fight.
We should never give up without a fight. That is the most important lesson I learned through the Leadership Summit. We should never give up without standing up for what we believe in – ANYTHING that we believe in. If I could do this for NBCC, I could do this for everything that I believe in. Politicians are in office to serve us, to serve me, and they will listen if I make enough noise.
Nothing is stopping me from doing this again for cause that I care about, like the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnappings.
Cosmopolitan.com made a valid point in their article “The Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Are More Than a Hastag” about how women are not viewed as people but as property and used as weapons of war. They asked that women take a stance and help organizations that support women leaders in Nigeria, or organizations that are working on trafficking issues. They also asked women to call their members of congress and say “I care, and I do want the U.S. government to offer whatever resource we can deploy to go.”
I know I can do this, and you can do this too. Will you join me? During the Leadership Summit, speakers talked about the difference that tweeting your local politicians can make. Twenty directed tweets matched by 20 phone calls to politicians looks like 40 different people contacting them, even if its really just 10. That is power and that is making a difference.
Will you make a difference with me?
|Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition Staff and I making a difference.|
|My Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 name tag and pin.|