Breast Cancer Lobbying Efforts Present a Unified Front
You care about ending breast cancer, otherwise you would not be reading this. We all know that breast cancer hits hard. And fighting breast cancer is not easy, on an individual level and as an advocate for change for all. There is a great way you can get involved, meet and learn from hundreds of other advocates dedicated to this issue and make a real difference. Every year in Washington D.C., the National Breast Cancer Coalition's Annual Advocacy Training Conference unites several hundred of us, as a force for change. We are seasoned advocates and women and men who have joined us more recently, who meet for several days of training, networking and rededication.
There is no conference like ours. There are sessions on the latest scientific research, training in the most effective advocacy techniques and communications approaches, thought-provoking speakers, and above all, the opportunity to share solutions to the tough challenges we all face and hear about strategies that work. Together as new and old friends, we reinvigorate and reenergize our activism and prepare for the next set of issues ahead. We inspire one another to reach the goal of ending breast cancer.
We meet in Washington because breast cancer is a political issue and the federal government and our federal elected leaders are responsible for the vast majority of breast cancer research funding in this country. But research and quality breast cancer care have always been seen by NBCC in the context of the bigger picture - assuring access to quality care for all. This year we roll out our framework for a reformed health care system and charge our current and future leaders to create the change needed to ensure that everyone has access to quality health care.
I would like to share some thoughts from some grassroots advocates - survivors who just recently started attending our conferences.
Suzanne, of East Greenbush, N.Y., attended her first NBCC Advocacy Training Conference in 2006, returning for her second in 2007. She is a recent Project LEAD® Institute graduate. Here is what she had to say:
What made you attend Conference in the first place? When I began to feel well enough, after treatment, I wanted to learn more about breast cancer, and about what was being done not just to fight it, or to deal with the aftermath, but to eliminate it. NBCC was a group that shared that goal. Read the full interview.
Sarah is a young survivor who came all the way from Ottawa, Canada to attend our 2007 Conference. She is also a member of our "Less Pink, More Research" group page on Facebook, and wrote a detailed account of her Conference experience. These are her observations:
It was something that I did that I felt was empowering and was making a difference on a large scale. Our local support group helps people at a community level but this felt much bigger and widespread. Also to be able to see results and get feedback on our support from government and to see results coming from the research... I would go again in a heartbeat and recommend it to anyone that has the motivation to help make a change. I now have a greater interest and knowledge in patient and cancer advocacy and hope to continue the momentum at home. (If you are a Facebook member, follow this link to read Sarah's full post.)
Our Annual Advocacy Training Conference brings us together - advocates, scientists, providers, policymakers - the current and future health care leaders in America - for some of the most stimulating, demanding, and satisfying sessions available to consumers today. And we also celebrate! You will be excited, inspired - and exhausted - but will leave the conference armed with new enthusiasm for our mission. Please visit our website to learn more about the Annual Advocacy Training Conference - and while you are online, go ahead and register today! Spread the word, bring a friend, bring several. It is an amazing and satisfying experience.