Saturday, May 14, 2011
Hi, Have We Met?
Q. Are you a non-profit?
A. Yes. We are a 501 c3 not for profit organization based in New York. We serve women (and men) all over the world.
Q. What do you do?
A. Picture this: You are diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor’s words are still floating in the air in front of you. You are unable to hear him anymore, the words “you have cancer” have rendered you temporarily deaf. You go home, and it hits you. Frantically, you go online and you are confronted with outdated stats, scarier than hell stories and your friend’s ever so helpful story about her mother-in-law’s hair dresser’s daughter who died within week of diagnosis. That’s where we come in. You click on our Main Website and find, in English, not doctor-speak, exactly what you need to know, from your pathology report, to your surgical options, the many types of chemo, side effects, new studies, basically everything you need. You feel at home, you feel like someone actually understands what you are feeling. We do. Why? Because we are By Survivor - For Survivor. It is written from our point of view- the patient’s point of view. You will get the real story of what everything feels like because we have all been there.
Q. Do you have to be finished with treatment to be a survivor?
A. Not at NSBCF. We quantify “survivor” from the moment you hear you have cancer.
Q. Do you help people in person?
A. Yes! We also have a live, 24/7 Support Forum that you can easily access from the main website. You can speak to women in every stage of treatment.
Q. Do you have doctors there?
A. No. We are not doctors. But we have a medical researcher who keeps us up to date on every new treatment option, study result, clinical trial and supplemental options for your care.
Q. Is it only for newly diagnosed women?
A. No. But we specialize in walking the newbie through those horrifying first weeks and getting her to a place where she becomes her own best advocate. We have many women who have advanced disease on our forum. Several have left other forums that tend to focus on the negative. We focus on the positive. Not sugar coating the disease, rather, arming them with the information they need to fight it and helpful tips to ameliorate some of the side effects of continuous treatment.
Q. Is that all you do?
A. No way. We have a very important program, known as the Before Forty Initiative that seeks to educate young, African American women about their increased risk of developing the aggressive form of Triple Negative Breast Cancer and the vital need for the age of baseline screening to begin at age 35 and at 30 for high risk groups, including African American, Hispanic and women of Ashkenazi Heritage.
Q. Anything else?
A. We have a boots on the ground network of fellow No Surrender Members called the Sister Corps. We connect you with the sister in your area if you need one- on - one support.
Q. Is it just cancer?
A. You will find us to be a valuable resource for living the best life AFTER your diagnosis. Nutrition, supplements, exercise and lifestyle changes are explained and encouraged to reduce your risk of recurrence or to help keep you healthy while in treatment. We even have a book, “Intimacy After Breast Cancer, Dealing with Your Body, Relationships, and Sex” that takes over where your doctor leaves off. Everything is covered. It helps you reclaim your life.
Q. Wow. How can I get involved?
A. We are always looking for assistance in any of our programs. It may be becoming a Member of the Sister Corps, helping us spread the word about the Before Forty Initiative, and financial support. This is something we really need. We are not flashy and don’t have big name celebrities helping our cause. (However, when the big name celebrities get breast cancer, they come to us for help.)
Q. Do I have to wear pink?
A. Hell No! We don’t do pink. We get you through your breast cancer.