NBCF Blog, Stories from the National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC

The View From Above

As we attempt to navigate the many highs and lows that life brings us, we can often fall victim to tunnel vision. We only see the immediate problem ahead, and we neglect to remember that the view from above holds a much better perspective.  Like so, a woman’s battle with breast cancer may feel like she is idly moving.  However, from above, there is hope and you may be just one step closer to the finish line.

Operation Pink Sky, the annual event held at Chicagoland Skydiving Center, uses their mile-high perspective to raise donations for NBCF through skydiving. The day is filled with both experienced jumpers as well as first-time jumpers, some of who jumped for free as a reward for meeting a fundraising goal! T-shirts, a raffle, and a party that evening continued to help raise donations.

Becky Johns, Director of Marketing and Communications for Chicagoland, first started the fundraiser due to breast cancer affecting so many of their staff’s families. Becky says “Personally, it is important to me to continue to try to grow the event because my mom and both her sisters are breast cancer survivors.” Although Becky is one of the luckier individuals who didn’t lose her loved ones, she still wants to play her part so that “others may be able to enjoy additional years with their mothers, aunts, sisters, etc.” As for her reasoning on choosing NBCF, Becky comments, “We chose NBCF because of its focus on patients and their families. We know a support network is an important part of fighting the cancer battle and healing.”

Operation Pink Sky just finished their 4th year fundraising for NBCF. We are thankful for their loyal support and innovative fundraising ideas!

For more information on how NBCF helps patients as well as their families, please visit our programs: Beyond the Shock and Early Detection Plan. Or, start your own fundraiser!

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A Cord of 7 Strands

We all know the phrase “a cord of 3 strands is not easily broken”, but 7 strands?  That is surely impossible to break! Team Green Ops, made up of seven Operation Managers from across the U.S., is as strong as that cord. The group first met back in 2012 at a leadership conference and has since met each year in various cities attending additional conventions. Over the years they have become close friends, and look forward to traveling to new parts of the U.S. together.

Last year, Green Ops member Dave Halperin found out his sister, Sarah Horn, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive type of breast cancer. He was instantly surrounded by these 6 teammates to support him. They realized their next meeting in San Francisco was the same weekend as the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. The 7 agreed to sign up and raise donations for The National Breast Cancer Foundation in honor of Sarah.

As the race grew closer, it wasn’t only the training that sped up. Donations were soaring in and the support Dave felt was unmeasurable. Sadly, in January of this year, Sarah lost her battle with breast cancer at the young age of 35.  Dave’s unwavering strength continued as he and the group continued to train and remain strong. On April 6th, with Sarah in mind, all 7 members ran the Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon and crossed the finish line. It was a proud moment for these 7 friends, as they were able to honor Sarah and accomplish their goal together. Green Ops raised a total of $9,220 for women in need!

In any tribulation, it is the people that you surround yourself with that help encourage and sustain your faith. Dave’s wonderful support cord of 7 friends was able to graciously honor the life of his sister, Sarah, and create a memory rooted in their brotherhood.

 To join this group in the fight against breast cancer and to honor the memory of Sarah Horn, please visit their fundraising page, or start your own fundraiser!  

To read Sarah’s blog about her journey, visit: http://www.hornlink.blogspot.com/

Swim Like a Fish, Fight Like a Girl

Battling the terror of breast cancer is much like swimming upstream: you constantly feel the stresses pushing against your progress. It might seem easier to stop believing or lose hope.  However, the Sauk Centre Girls Swim Team made it their personal mission to instill faith in breast cancer victims by hosting their fundraiser for NBCF.

Three years ago, Swim Team Coach James Schreiner’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. “The girls wanted to do something to raise awareness and honor her fight,” James said. “They call her ‘swim mom’ so needless to say my wife was very touched.” James’ wife wasn’t the only woman they honored. The Sauk Swim Team sought out other survivors in the community and recognized each during the meet. Each woman is called upon to stand up, and they each are presented a pink rose to honor their battle with breast cancer.  “It is honestly one amazing night,” James recalls.

The Sauk Centre Girls Swim Team has made the event bigger and better in the last three years. Their biggest sell is the pink ribbons which are donated and printed for them by the local newspaper. People who donate get to write their name on the ribbon, and hundreds of them are then hung outside the entrance to the fan’s balcony on the day of the swim meet. Pink swim caps and pink t-shirts are worn all over the natatorium show pride and support. To top it all off, they have a “chuck-a-duck” contest. Advertised all throughout the school, the contest requires you to pay an entry fee to throw one of the rubber ducks into a buoy in the pool. “The winner gets 50% and NBCF receives the other 50%, but without fail, the winner always donates their prize as well,” James notes.

Coach James insists the night is more than just about raising money for awareness. It is also about being able to “teach the girls a lesson that will last way beyond their years in the water and their years in school.” This past year, the team was able to raise over $6,500 in just one swim meet! Furthermore, they were able to give honor to many women of their community who have been affected by breast cancer.  The Sauk Centre girls are already excited about this year as they give more women hope to tread breast cancer’s tough waters. 

Want to help? Get involved with NBCF by starting your own fundraiser!