Tag Archives: second life

Mission Monday: Saving Lives with Research

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.

 

 

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Survivor Spotlight: Mar Silverblade

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.

My Journey:

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.

Let’s Go Shopping!!

It is time to Out Shop Cancer and join the fight against breast cancer!!

With over 70 participating stores and venues there is something  for everyone! Fashion, decor, homes, garden, recreation, role play and much more!

A full Store directory including some Marketplace specials is available here or you can pick up a notecard listing in world at the Making Strides building on the American Cancer Society region.

 

Final Call for Out Shop Cancer Merchants!

Last call for merchants to join in the 2019 Out Shop Cancer shopping event!! All merchants, all genres are invited to join!

For full event details, please visit the Out Shop Cancer page here.

All proceeds from this event will go directly to the American Cancer Society.

 

Raise Awareness!

October is fast approaching and our time to shine the spotlight on breast cancer. All are welcome to use these poster to decorate your venues and raise awareness.

To grab your set of textures (these and several more), stop by the Event room at the Strides building on the American Cancer Society campus and look for the giver on the back wall of the room.

P.S. For those looking for Making Strides fundraising tools, updated tools will be released soon – watch for notices!

 

Encore Performance by Mynx Dance: The Greatest Show

THE ENCORE IS COMING!
“The Greatest Showman” was a favorite movie for many audiences. You will truly be amazed by this Second Life dance production based on the movie.

You are invited to come and join the circus for the day with Mynx Academy. The show will start at 1 PM SLT on Saturday, January 19th and is for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

Come early to get good seats your tickets are at the main booth for this Encore Performance

SLurl:
https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SkyBeam Stowaway/176/125/3500

Ways to Help

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We have reached the end of October and the end of this year’s major Making Strides’ Events. The kiosks will remain out and Making Strides always appreciate your support and donations. For this final “Ways to Help” for the year, we decided to use it to talk about and show our appreciation for our volunteers this year with Making Strides.

First, on behalf of Sandie and myself, along with all the Strides committee, “Thank you” to each one of you who put lindens in kiosks, went across the grid shopping with Out Shop Cancer, explored and found a new home from Strides Parade of Homes in SL, bought a raffle ticket or placed a bid on an auction. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

We appreciate all who planned and held their own events at venues across Second Life. And we celebrate those who became the first set of “Strides Boosters“.

We would like to thank all the merchants, designers, and builders who were a part of our two new events – Out Shop Cancer and Strides Parade of Homes in SL. We are extremely grateful and appreciate all of your hard work and the wonderful donations you contributed to both of these events:

Amethyst Starostin of *Fire Within*
Dolphin Ayres of .EscalateD.
Ariana Petrova of [Ari-Pari]
SexyEyes Valkyrie of AFantasy
Lilac Niven of AvaGirl
Slash Hansome of AXL pro
Katelynn Latzo of BedBugz Boutique
Wayne Bentley of Bentley Homes/ Bentley Furniture
Plurabella Laszlo of Bliensen + MaiTai
Lucinda Nagy of Captivating!
Mizzy Maltz of Compilance Productions
VANYI of DCKM
Donni67 Cyberstar of Donni’s Dollies
Evhah of EVHAH
Tamrielle Halderman of Fae Fantasy Creations
Funatik Resident of FANATIK
Luna Barak of Fantavatar & Moonstruck
FeydaAnn Ferryhill of Feyline Fashions
Harry Quijote of Harry’s Outdoor & Living
St0rmyN1ght Resident of Implings
Tazzie Tuque of Indigenous
Jeanny Loorden of JELO
Anestacia Resident of Just Ordinary
Alrunia Ahn of Lilith’s Den
Roxy Bergiere of Love Everlasting Home and Garden
xrockinfree Resident of Lunistice
Alea Lamont of ND/MD
DeAnn Dufaux of Park Place Home
Mac Pierce (null aries) of Pierce Design Studio
Tyriani Resident of pretty please/ lowlife
SavannahRaye and SadieRoze of Sadie’s Design’s & The Reckless Angel @ MSR Merchant Mall
Kerryth Tarantal of Spyralle
LillyCraft Resident of Studio Craft Architect
maizon Rayna of Terra d’ombrA
Rowanessque Whitewood of The Emporium
Xzavia Yifu of Timeless Textures
Amethestpearl Resident of TRS Designs
SkyeRyder Varriale of Varriale Designs
YokianaSL of YoKana
The individual designers of the Strides Store, hosted by Robby & LyricWinterwolf Composer

Additionally, we would also like to thank Trader1 Whiplash & Nuala Maracas and the staff of T1 Radio/ Legends. Not only is T1 Radio the official broadcaster for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer across Second Life, we appreciate all of the DJs and hosts who donated their time to do events on the Making Strides sim this year.

We would like to give special recognition to each of our fabulous special event Sponsors this year.
2018 Making Strides Sim sponsor – Sol Existence
2018 Strides Stage Sponsor – Torgon’s
2018 Strides Walk Sponsor – Sanctuary RP Community
2018 Making Strides Honor Gala Sponsor – *Fire Within*
2018 Photos for a Cure Sponsor – SKYY Games

Tremendous thanks to Mac Pierce, Clive Pierce, and the guys of Pierce Design Studio for their amazing job on the Making Strides sim landscaping.

With gratitude, we would like to recognize Marina Sharpshire and Amethyst Starostin for providing the entertainment during the Making Strides Honor Gala.

Last but in no way least, Sandie and I would like to say thank you to the Making Strides committee.  As you can see from this list no one or even two people can do this alone.  It takes many, all have special gifts and talents.   We were lucky to work with some very special people on the committee.   So for each of your gifts, thank you Sunshine, Serina, Kitty, Nevar, & those very special ones who like to stay nameless.

As for ways to help… become a new name next year to this list of amazing people here in Second Life.  Watch for ways soon.

Thank you all!!!!