This October, breast cancer charities across the nation will be joining together to raise awareness about the horrible disease which touches roughly 1 in 8 American women. Amidst the flurry of pink ribbons and t-shirts, it can be difficult to distinguish one breast cancer charity from another. Although you may not recognize these ten lesser-known organizations at first glance, they are greatly impacting the lives of thousands of women, families and children who have been touched by breast cancer.
Each year, nearly 13,000 women under the age of 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer. The Young Survival Coalition was founded to help young women who have been affected by breast cancer connect with other survivors, and also to educate young women about the signs, symptoms and risk factors of breast cancer. The global charity hosts several programs—including Face2Face Networking, SurvivorLink and MetsLink—as resources for survivors and mentors to draw strength from the stories of other survivors.
Combining research, education, advocacy and support, the Breast Cancer Charities of America is the only breast cancer non-profit delivering an integrated message to women. BCCA brings together the different health care and allied health care disciplines—oncology, nursing, psychology, sociology, nutrition, exercise physiology, spirituality and more. A majority of the organization’s proceeds go towards breast cancer research, specifically the link between nutrition and breast cancer. Another portion of the donations goes towards the “Help Now Fund,” which provides emergency financial assistance to help people in active treatment with their rent and utilities.
After Lynn Sage suffered six years of breast cancer and passed away at age 39, the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation was founded in Chicago in 1985 in honor of her courageous spirit. One of the nation’s leading research and education charities, LSCRF is partnered with Chicago’s Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University to support the understanding, research and treatment of breast cancer. To date, the charity has raised more than $29 million purely for breast cancer research. Administrative costs are kept lower than six percent to ensure more funds are saved for research and educational projects.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer aims to nurture women throughout the various stages of breast cancer: newly diagnosed, in treatment, recently completed treatment, or years beyond breast cancer. The organization serves as a national education and support program to connect women to trusted information and communities. LBBC’s annual events include the Annual Fall Conference, Conference for Young Women, Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference, Butterfly Ball and Yoga on the Steps.
Casting for Recovery takes the therapeutic sport of fly-fishing to boost the quality of life for women with breast cancer. The charity plans fly-fishing retreats to help diagnosed women find inspiration, channel renewed energy for life and experience the healing that can come from community and nature. The free retreats are available for all ages of survivors and patients in any stage of treatment. Fly-fishing is similar to the exercises prescribed after surgery or radiation to promote soft tissue stretching. This program offers a way to de-stress and jump back into an active, outdoors lifestyle.
Dorothy Gibbons established the first public relations department at Bayshore Medical Center where she met Dr. Dixie Melillo, who was one of the first female surgeons to graduate from University of Texas Medical Branch. The two came together out of frustration toward breast cancer and a passion for saving lives to found The Rose in 1986 in Houston, Texas. The Rose utilizes an annual budget of more than $10 million dollars with a staff of 100 employees to provide quality breast treatment to more than 33,000 women each year. The Rose, which is staffed with Board Certified Radiologists, offers mobile mammograms, screenings, diagnostics, bone density tests and support groups.
This Florida-based charity presents “Nationwide Tour of Gowns” bridal shows around the country to raise money for the resources and information needed for breast cancer patients. Each year the organization hosts more than 150 bridal showers. The gowns range from $99-$799 with designer values up to $3,900. Married woman can still help out by donating their wedding dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer. The bridal charity will donate $2 million dollars to women impacted by breast cancer this year.
Sharsheret is a national breast cancer charity for young women of Jewish background. The organization provides a network of peers, health professionals and resources to foster a community of support to diagnosed women and those who are at-risk. Sharsheret was founded in 2001 and has cared for more than 40,000 patients since its establishment. More than 250 educational programs have been created across the nation and more than 3,000 peer supporters are involved across the United States.
Located in Palo Alto, California, Bay Area Cancer Connections serves the San Francisco Bay area. Last year, BACC served 2,522 individuals and 764 uninsured clients benefited from their early detection services. The organization is made up of financial experts and a Medical Advisory Group of twenty physicians. BACC serves woman with breast and ovarian cancer by offering emotional support, a boutique with wigs, hats and scarves, wellness programs, and medical professionals.
Founded in 2003 by Alisa Savoretti (“Lop-sided Showgirl”), a breast cancer survivor and Las Vegas Showgirl, My Hope Chest provides reconstructive surgery for uninsured and under-insured breast cancer survivors. The charity’s goal is to provide closure to the breast cancer journey by allowing women who desire reconstruction to have it.