May 10, 2012
This year, Breast cancer advocates around the United States and globally gathered to demonstrate their support for breast cancer deadline 2020 at the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s 2012 Annual advocate summit and BRECAN advocates have been given the opportunity to experience, get inspired and learn how to play a vital role in shifting the conversation to focus on the elimination breast cancer
Our lovely experience began with “House Keeping” at the Holiday Inn where we, BRECAN advocates, are lodging for the summit period. The President, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, briefed the group on what to be expected during the summit, group and individual assignments and time management.
10.00am: On arrival to the venue, about a 5minute walk (throwing in some physical exercise), we picked up our summit badges and registration packs. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, with smiles at every corner. We were excited and ready to take on the training ahead.
|Ready and on the clock to end breast cancer|
10.30am: Lobby day briefing. Information and tools to effectively lobby the members of congress were disseminated during this briefing. It began with a very powerful but yet simple introductory address by the NBCC President, Fran Visco. She couldn’t emphasize less on the fact that there is more power in number to push the goal ahead and the coalition is always behind advocates pursuing the same goal.
“We are powerful, individually not so much, but collectively we are” – Fran Visco
Two priorities where highlighted as the agenda for this year’s lobby day: The acceleration of the end of the Breast cancer act and the appropriation of $150 million from the department of defense peer reviewed breast cancer research programs. The current political climate was discussed, ways to approach members and the culture of feedback and follow up emphasized.
Special sessions ensued, emerging leaders meet up for young advocates and Project LEAD graduates for advanced topic sessions.
Finally, the first day closed with an especially vibrant summit opening rally and president’s rally address. Women and men alike in colorful apparel symbolizing their state, from crowns like the French Lady for the New Yorkers to Pink swans for the Floridians, presented reports on last year’s activities towards the deadline. Most states reported support from congress men and women with video messages to prove it. They also aim to collect as many signed petitions as possible for the president towards the acceleration of the end of breast cancer act. Most of the set numbers stood for the number of new breast cancer cases in the respective states.
The NBCC president’s rally speech was remarkable and inspiring, what any advocate who still wondered “Can this really work?” “Is this deadline achievable in 2020?” needed. It was that nudge, in my own opinion, that everyone needed or needs to continue, to push ahead this ambitious goal. Fran is 24year breast cancer survivor. The goal to end breast cancer in 2020 was set about 18 months ago. She urged the attendees to break the general addiction to “comfortable” and “easy” and called on the need to fight and find the moral courage to do what was needed to win this battle.
A goal was set to develop the polio vaccine, 7 years later it was available, a goal was set to send a man to the moon, 8years and 2months later it was accomplished. Our deadline to end breast cancer is January 2020, ARE YOU WITH US?!