Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 Strides Campaigns in Second Life. Together, we raised over $13,600 USD (a $5,000 increase over 2018) for the American Cancer Society, making this our biggest impact on breast cancer from Second Life. Read the full story at https://www.slacsinfo.com/news
The first step in fighting back against breast cancer is knowing your body and making sure to stay up to date on screenings.
One of the strongest tools in your arsenal is doing your regular breast exams and having mammograms done on the schedule that fits your risk and need.
The third Friday of the month of October is National Mammogram Day – have you scheduled yours for this year yet?
To learn more about mammograms, recommended ages to start and more, please visit the mammogram information pages found here.
The American Cancer Society’s mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer. We’re the only cancer organization offering services and support for every aspect of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Each Monday in October we will highlight ways that we are living the mission and how people who support Making Strides and the American Cancer Society are impacting both their local community and communities around the world – including the virtual world – and helping to lead the fight against breast cancer.
One of the biggest ways we fight back and save lives is by finding the causes of breast cancer and ways to cure it.
As of March 2019, $64.3 million dollars (US) has been invested in breast cancer research. And as of March 2019, 160 research grants related to breast cancer have been funded. *Note: As of August 1, 2019 there are a total of 162 breast cancer grants in effect and $67 million dollars has been allocated to funding breast cancer research.
Science takes time, but as we learn from what we know from the past – that knowledge paves the path for breakthroughs ahead.
Take, for example, one of the most important discoveries in advancing the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Identifying the BRCA1 gene in 1990 paved the way for understanding the link between mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. More than three decades later, we’re building on that science to uncover how mutations in these genes impact the likelihood of responsiveness or resistance to new chemotherapy drugs.
BRCA1 gene Timeline:
- 1950-19910: ongoing research established there were genetic links between breast and ovarian cancers.
- 1990: Researcher Mary-Claire King, PhD, discovered the first specific gene that if mutated could increase the risk of breast cancer. She named the gene BRCA1.
- 1991: Scientist Patrice Watson, PhD, and colleagues found that the BRCA1 gene was also linked to ovarian cancer. *
- 1994: Researchers discovered that the BRCA1 genetic mutation was strongly linked to Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry.
- 1994: Scientists discovered a second gene linked to breast cancer – BRCA2.
- 1996: Moving BRCA-1 Forward – Mary-Claire King, PhD (above); Elaine Ostrander, PhD; and colleagues did the research needed to be able to study BRCA1 in animals. This work paved the way for future clinical trials in humans.*
- 1998: Oncologist and researcher Bernard Fisher, MD, and colleagues found that the chemotherapy drug tamoxifen decreased the incidence of breast cancer by nearly 50% in women who were at increased risk due to carrying a BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 mutation. *
- 2004: Scientist Susan Neuhausen, PhD, demonstrated that prophylactic bilateral mastectomy substantially reduced the incidence of breast cancer among women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene. *
- 2009: Oncologists Roger A. Greenberg, MD, PhD, and Susan Domchek, MD, found a way to determine (in mice) whether BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations will cause cancer.
- Future: The American Cancer Society continues to fund ongoing research into breast cancer risk. This is a major focus for our epidemiology team; they are studying the effect of exercise, weight, and diet on breast cancer risk. We are also funding researchers who are working on understanding the underlying biological mechanisms that cause breast cancer to develop and to spread. And we remain committed to improving treatment and funding research into how mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 impact the likelihood of responsiveness or resistance to new chemotherapy drugs.
*Denotes research funded by the American Cancer Society.
Learn more about the innovative approach to research by the American Cancer Society by visiting here.
Learn more about current breast cancer research grantees by visiting here.
Chevrolet and Chevy Dealers are once again partnering with Making Strides to Finish The Fight!
In the last 9 years Chevy has contributed $12 million to the American Cancer Society® benefiting breast cancer screening, patient care and research.
Each time #IDriveFor is used on Twitter or Instagram in the month of October, Chevrolet will contribute $5 to the American Cancer Society until they reach their $340,000 goal.
For More Information:
Once again we will be shining the spotlight on our amazing breast cancer survivors and caregivers. This week our Spotlight Survivor is Mar Silverblade.
How and when did you learn about your cancer?
I am a breast cancer with metastasis in the lymph nodes survivor. I learned that I had cancer in October 2013 after I went to see my doctor because of a lump in my left breast.
What types of treatment(s) have occurred?
Started chemotherapy on November 2013 till April 2014. I had lumpectomy surgery and all my lymph nodes to the right side were removed also. After surgery, I started estrogen hormone inhibitor treatment with Anastrozole. I went through seven weeks of radiation post surgery.
April 14, 2014, is a day I will always remember, that day after surgery, my Oncologist nurse called to tell me that I was cancer free.
I felt blessed at the time and also right now. Still, the journey to recovery continues, I did not tolerate my treatment with Anastrozole, later I took Letrozole for more than two years till I had severe joint/bones pain, so much so, that I could not walk farther than a block. The Oncologist stopped the medication for four months, I did recover from the joint pain after that time.
In January of 2019, I was taking Aromasin with some of the same bad side effects showing up already.
Nobody said that it would be easy, it is not, but I am not giving up!
What have been the most important things that have helped you through your survivorship?
Having my husband, family, friends, and the online ACS Support Group in Second Life helping me all the way. Knowing that I am never alone makes all the difference in my journey throughout my cancer treatments and recovery. Also, my belief that there is a God who is always there to help me.
What have you learned from your experiences that you would like to share?
That even in the most difficult times I have the ability to fight back. That I am never alone in my journey.
Are there positive experiences you would like to share?
Yes, the support of family, friend and Second Life support group made a big impact in my life. I wish I never had cancer. But it happened, so I learned about how strong I can be in such difficult times. I know how much my loved ones care for me and that I even have virtual friends that are there for me 24/7 as much as I am there for them.
For three years now I have been a volunteer in an online support group for people in cancer treatments and survivors. I am part of the ACS Support Group in Second Life. I am very proud of this group, everyday people come together to help each other in the journey to survive. Helping others helps me to know that I am are never alone.
This is my motto, I say it over and over, “we are not alone in this journey. Together we can cope with anything.”
What else would you like to tell us?
Do not be afraid to ask for help.
I am a member and moderator of the Hope Haven – ACS Support Groups in Second Life .
Five years ago I met Sandie Loxingly in a Relay For Life Christmas event. She told me about the support group that meets at Hope Haven, which takes place every Sunday at noon SLT. I went the next Sunday. I was so pleased to be able to meet people that have gone through cancer treatment and others that were in treatment, all of us cancer patients and survivors are willing to share our story and support one another.
I will always be thankful to Sandie for being there that day when she opened the door of the support group for me.
We meet every day as we please in the Support Group Chat Room. Also, we have Sundays meetings in person at the Hope Haven Support Group Network building. If we can’t be on Second Life we can communicate and share stories and thoughtful articles, and so on in the group Facebook page.
Also, The amazing support from the ACS Caregivers Support Group in Second Life gave to me when my sister passed away last January 02, 2019 is still in my heart.
Currently, I am dealing with very bad side effects from Aromasin an estrogen hormone inhibitor, but I am not feeling isolated in my journey. I asked for help, in the support group, with my feelings of having to choose with my Oncologist if I will have to stop my medication, losing the protection against another possible metastasis.
I just needed to know that others can deeply understand the nightmares that come with the uncertainty of your future. As soon as I shared my concerns many people in the group supported me and gave me suggestions.
I asked others with the same diagnosis how are they were coping and they shared with me their good wishes and many more little details of caring and taking the time to listen to me.It really makes all the difference in the world knowing that I am not alone.
I know that whatever I do it will have to be with my Oncologists medical advise. That having been said, the support from the group is also part of my daily routine. I am there for them and they are there for me. That is priceless!
The ACS Support Groups in Second Life gives me comfort and the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that you are with your peers. I can be myself with them, we trust each other, we deeply care for one another, we fight together, we celebrate our victories and we hold each other in the dark times. There is so much more to say, but for now, with a chemo brain, all I can say is thank you to all of you for being there for me.
I am living one day at the time, because of all the side effects of medications, my life is not easy and my road to recovery probably will never end but I am fine with that, I am a fighter, I am not giving up.
With over 70 participating stores and venues there is something for everyone! Fashion, decor, homes, garden, recreation, role play and much more!
Fight Breast Cancer with Strides Campaigns
It’s almost October – have you considered fighting breast cancer through your Second Life? The American Cancer Society is the global leader in the fight against all cancers, including breast cancer; and new fundraising tools are now available for anyone and everyone to show their support.
Fundraising tools are free and can be found on the Second Life Marketplace or by going to the Strides office on the American Cancer Society island.
The Strides Campaigns season is filling up with activities in several communities across the grid, but there can never be too many ways to fight breast cancer until we find the cure! Donations help fund initiatives including the Reach To Recovery program, a peer to peer program that matches trained breast cancer survivors with those recently diagnosed; raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and screenings; and funding research for better treatments and earlier diagnosis.
Therefore, we’re inviting as many communities across Second Life to take action now!
If you would like to plan your own breast cancer fundraiser, you’re encouraged to work within your community or group in Second Life to organize your own Strides Campaign. Make sure to let the American Cancer Society know about it by completing the ACS Calendar Event Submission Form so we can share it with others.
All Strides Campaigns must use the official Strides fundraising tools that are provided by the American Cancer Society. Fundraising campaigns may include events, hunts, shows, sales, or simply putting out a donation kiosk at your club or store throughout the month of October.
If you want to fight breast cancer, but aren’t able to organize your own campaign, you can get involved with existing campaigns listed in the ACS in SL Events Calendar.
There’s also plenty of ways to get involved in events throughout the month. Check out the events below:
KEY STRIDES DATES
Out Shop Breast Cancer:
Starting Oct. 1 and running the entire month, this event will take shoppers across the grid, exploring and shopping at stores in support of Strides. Store-owners will use American Cancer Society breast cancer vendor kiosks to feature special products in their stores. A directory of participating stores will be available at the Strides office on ACS Island as well as on the Making Strides Second Life website at https://makingstridessecondlife.org.
Oct. 19 to Oct. 26:
Pink Power Fest is an 8-day event that runs from Oct. 19 to Oct. 26. Kicking off the Fest will be the 5th Annual Strides Walk-a-thon. Each day after the kick off will have scheduled events to celebrate the power of pink, as in pink ribbon & the fight against Breast Cancer. Entertainment will include Live Performers, Tribute Bands and DJs from across the grid, all hosted by volunteer hosts & hostesses. There will be Raffles, Gachas, & Vendors around the Fest as well with all donations & proceeds going to the American Cancer Society fight against Breast Cancer. Capping the Fest will be the Harvest of Hope Gala on Oct. 26, honoring all Survivors & Caregivers, and remembering those we have lost. Everyone is invited to attend.
5th Annual Strides Walk-a-thon
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. SLT
It’s that time again to put your best foot forward. It’s time to register for the 5th Annual Strides Walk-a-thon. This year’s walk will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 19 and be Pink Power Fest. Walkers will start the official laps at 10 am. They will be able to walk as many lap as they can until 6p.m. SLT. For more information or to get involved, visit https://makingstridessecondlife.org/strides-walk-2019/
5th Annual Breast Cancer Survivors & Caregivers Honor Ball
Noon to 6 p.m. SLT
The annual gala event will be noon to 6 p.m. SLT on Oct. 26 and celebrate breast cancer patients, survivors and pay homage to loved ones that are no longer with us. This is a chance to meet new people, reconnect with old friends, and share stories with others about your personal connection to breast cancer. This is a formal attire event with special live performances. Donations are encouraged throughout the event.
Do you want to hold a fundraising event for Strides? It’s easy and fun to get involved! For more information on guidelines for the event, visit https://makingstridessecondlife.org/fundraising/