Thursday, June 17, 2010

Open letter to Warren Buffett and Bill Gates

Dear Mr. Buffett and Gates,

I read with great interest your new initiative, "Billionaires Should Give Half Their Wealth to Charity," HERE.

I would very much like to help you get started in your new endeavor.

The No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation is helping thousands of women across the world with breast cancer. We are a 501 c3, not for profit organization and can work with both of you very closely.

Many breast cancer survivors would like to give as much as possible to help other women through this disease and to find better treatments, more advanced diagnostics and, someday, a cure. However, after a woman completes treatment, which usually consists of several surgeries, months of chemotherapy followed by weeks of radiation, she is faced with mountains of medical bills, co-pays and never ending drug expenses. There is a lot of catching up to do financially after your life has been turned upside down by this wretched disease. As a result, there is little left over to donate to a cause that is so close to your heart.

The No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation was founded by a survivor and managed by survivors, so we are aware that the women we help are not in a financial position to support all of our needs. That is why we need help from outside sources. That is why we need you.

We are working hard to improve and grow. We need financial support to help achieve our mission.

Our Website

The main website was designed for a woman who needs to learn everything she can about her disease so she can make the best medical decisions for her care. When first diagnosed, there is a flurry of confusion and an information overload that makes a woman feel like she is drowning. When she comes to our website, she finds a lifeline, because all of her questions are answered in a clear way that is easy to understand, not bogged down with outdated stats and incomprehensible doctor-speak.

Instead, she learns about her cancer, how to read her pathology report, and she understands her options. These include surgical and reconstruction options, chemotherapy options, hormonal choices, etc. Then with a click of the mouse, she learns how to cope with the side effects of treatment and all the little details her doctor doesn’t have time tell her about, but a fellow survivor does. Then we go one step further, we offer a twenty four hour, seven day a week Support Forum.

Our Support Forum is one of the warmest place on the internet. A woman can ask any question and her fellow sisters gather around to help her with the best answers based on their own personal experiences. Then, if even more information is needed, there is a medical researcher on board to offer the latest in treatment options, clinical trials and complimentary therapy.

Our Website and Support Forum are a vital resource to women who need true support any time of the day or night. We need financial support to upgrade the site, keep it current and to moderate the forum so women feel safe posting there, free from spam and unsavory internet intruders that unfortunately target breast cancer websites. Your support will help us reach more women through the financing of educational pamphlets which will be distributed in doctor’s offices all over the world, leading a newly diagnosed woman to hope - our Website and Support Forum.

The Before Forty Initiative

There is a crime being committed every day. Women are dying because they are being diagnosed too late. Following the gold standard of getting your first mammogram at age forty is deadly. Especially if a woman is African American or carries the BRCA gene, commonly found in women from Ashkenazi heritage. We want to change this forever.

There is a subtype of breast cancer that these groups are more prone to develop, it is known as Triple Negative Breast Cancer. It is very aggressive, grows extremely fast, and if it is not found early and treated early, it is much harder to fight. The NSBCF is dedicated to education all young women to get their first mammogram by the age of 35 and if she is African American or from a high risk group, she should begin screening at the age of 30.

It doesn’t stop there. Mammography does not always pick up abnormalities when women are young because they have dense breasts. We want to change insurance companies coverage plans so they automatically cover breast ultra sounds and breast MRIs, particularly if a suspicious finding is present. It should be automatic, and not how it is now: not covered unless a lump is extremely large and/or a woman has a doctor who has the time and inclination to fight for these tests.

What’s more, it is imperative that we get the word out to every single woman on this planet to never, ever “watch and wait.” For any woman,  watching a waiting gives a deadly cancer a chance to grow so it could spread to her lymphatic system and other organs.

To get the Before Forty Initiative on the map, we have to raise money for:

Publicity, public service announcements, educational pamphlets, lobbying the government, lobbying insurance companies and changing doctor’s practices on how they treat young women. We are basically forming a No Surrender Army to save women's lives.

We are well aware of the tremendous undertaking this program entails. But we know, first hand, what the alternative is. We do not want to bury another sister. We will do whatever it takes to save the lives of women.

You can see why we need to raise money, and raise it quickly. We know we have big ambitions, but we think big because we know how much we can accomplish. With your help, we can make sure our slogan lives up to its promise: Hope Happens Here.

So, gentlemen, if you would like to start with the No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation, please let me know... we need your help and would like to help you, too.

Thank you.


Traci Walters said...

Awesome letter Gina.

Thank you for everything you do.

Traci Walters.

Doreen said...

I agree with Traci ... awesome and powerful ... WTG G!! I hope they will help!

Amy K. said...

Everyone who reads this that cares about women with breast cancer should forward it to Gates and Buffet!!!!