Exciting news! As of early this week I have slipped into a new role. – president of METAvivor. I have inherited passion and commitment from a small but remarkably strong group of founders and I believe we are on the cusp of the next wave of change. I am grateful for their leadership, for a board who is devoted, and for continuing and emerging volunteers who believe our voices must be heard. I look forward to our continued growth and the hard work ahead. Our dual mission of raising awareness and funds for MBC is critical for all whose lives have brushed up against breast cancer.
I’m sure you’ve heard plenty about METAvivor before, but just in case, here’s the what and why behind my involvement.
We’ve all heard the numbers – of all breast cancer diagnoses, including those with DCIS or Stage 0, 1 in 3 will become metastatic. And I’m sure you also know that patients don’t die from early stage disease. Only metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is fatal.
Since these are the men and women who are dying, at a rate of about 40,000 per year in the US alone, you’d think our energy and resources would be directed here, right? I mean not only would that save lives, but it would mean anyone, with any stage of breast cancer would at least be safe from death. Makes sense to me! But that’s not how it happens.
In fact, in the Western World this 30% receive a paltry 5% of the funding – and that’s the most generous reading I could find. It’s confusing because many believe that preventing mets is mets research. And by extension, so is early detection. And prevention. And it’s all poppy-cock. At METAvivor we define “metastatic research” as that which will benefit the already metastasized patient. And we put our money where our mouth is…
When you donate to METAvivor every single penny of your donation flows directly into our peer-reviewed research grants. Our overhead costs are covered through generous, directed grants. We have no paid staff. We volunteer our time and expertise because it matters to us – it is about saving our lives and those who follow.
To that end, we are also committed to MBC awareness. There’s a lot of pink talk out there, but most it has nothing to do with us. In fact, the breast cancer industry would probably like us to sit quietly in the corner and stop rocking the boat. The good news is, we hear more about it. The breast cancer industry has come to realize that metastatic patients and our supporters are strong and loud and we’re not going away.
I’m looking forward to METAvivor’s growth in the coming year, and welcome your involvement! We are now recruiting volunteers for our cross-country Sea-to-Sea caravan, which departs from Annapolis in April and will visit many of the researcher centers where we have offered funding. We have room for volunteers who would like to help us manage the event, and those who would like to bring METAvivor to their communities. We have other projects, too! And of course we are always grateful for your donations.