National Breast Cancer Coalition

Call to Action September 2018

NBCC Honors an Incredible Activist, Friend and Board Member


Marlene McCarthy, incredible activist, friend, mentor, co-founder and volunteer Executive Director of the Rhode Island Breast Cancer Coalition, Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, NBCC Team Leader, and tireless volunteer for NBCC died of metastatic breast cancer on July 17, 2018.
We at NBCC are devastated by her passing. 

Marlene was one of the best at challenging authority in the world of cancer policy, science and advocacy. She was a fighter, always pushing researchers, policy makers and others, to do better. She was creative, constantly developing innovative approaches to getting out the message to end breast cancer. She was a kind and giving soul, helping the homeless and consoling others with breast cancer. And she was fun, the first on the dance floor and the last to leave. Marlene was a leader, smart, bold and relentless.

Please take a moment to read the tribute written by NBCC President, Fran Visco in The Cancer Letter.

Marlene's family has requested that tribute gifts be made online to the Marlene McCarthy Fund at NBCC. You can also mail a tribute gift to:

The Marlene McCarthy Fund at National Breast Cancer Coalition
1010 Vermont Ave., NW  Suite 900
Washington, DC 20005

The Vance Wall Foundation has generously pledged a challenge grant of $25,000 in Marlene's memory.

We will continue our work to end breast cancer in honor of Marlene.

New Project LEAD Institute Graduates

Every year, passionate, committed and curious advocates come together at Project LEAD®, NBCC’s premier science training program, to delve into the science of breast cancer. Project LEAD provides breast cancer advocates with the education and training they need to understand complex medical information, the nuances of research methodology, and the unique role advocates play in influencing the research agenda. Armed with these invaluable skills, Project LEAD graduates go into the field, respected and recognized as the best, most effective advocates by many stakeholders in the research arena.

Last month, 42 advocates gathered in La Jolla, CA, for a week of rigorous and dedicated study. The diverse class of 2018 included participants from 18 different states, Mexico, Australia, and Armenia. They completed challenging homework assignments and a week-long demanding coursework on topics such as genetics, epidemiology, immunology, and study design, taught by a premier group of expert faculty.  

Graduates of this one-of-a-kind program will play a critical role in programs such as the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program, NBCC’s Artemis Project®, clinical trials, and local research programs around the country and the world. They help ensure that advocates have a credible voice anywhere decisions about breast cancer research are being made. They are better able to translate complex science and medical information within their communities.

This year, NBCC also continued the newest component of its Center for Advocacy Training, Advanced Project LEAD®. Selected advocates engaged in an in-depth, intensive program over two days that culminated in the development and presentation of an outline for an NBCC policy paper.  This advanced program further trains advocates who have a deep interest in and propensity for taking leadership roles in breast cancer research advocacy as NBCC representatives.

NBCC Legislative Priority: 
Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act - H.R. 6114

Our grassroots network is doing great work gaining cosponsors in support of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act, H.R. 6114, legislation to waive the 24 month waiting period for Medicare eligibility and the 5 month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for individuals with metastatic breast cancer. 

A total of 55 Representatives have cosponsored to date. But there is more work to do.

The goal is to have 100 cosponsors by the end of September.

NBCC has developed a list of actions you can take to help reach that goal.

As always, thank you for your important advocacy on behalf of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and our mission to end breast cancer! 

2019 Advocate Leadership Summit 
Registration Opens October 1

The 2019 Advocate Leadership Summit will be held from Saturday, April 27 – Tuesday, April 30, 2019 (Lobby Day). 

Join us for the 2019 Summit where you will learn about public policy and what to do to make certain scientists have the funds needed to answer questions that will save lives. You will begin to understand what researchers are doing to harness the immune system, identify targets, and figure out how to stop women and men from getting breast cancer and to prevent metastasis You will have the opportunity to interact with renowned scientists and activists. You will meet other like-minded advocates who share your passion for ending breast cancer and saving lives. And you will learn more about Deadline 2020® and what the future holds for NBCC. 

On Tuesday, April 30th, we will once again host a Lobby Day on Capitol Hill. As we move closer to Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, it is vital that we push even harder to make the deadline a reality. Start by registering for the 2018 Advocate Leadership Summit on October 1.


Funded by a seed grant from NBCC’s Artemis Project®, DNA.Land is developing a DNA database to further study breast cancer genomics.  The database will serve as an important tool for breast cancer researchers and has the potential to advance approaches to prevent recurrence and determine risk for the disease. NBCC and DNA.Land scientists need participation from as many people as possible who have or have had breast cancer or have a first degree relative with a history of breast cancer.

If you’ve had your DNA analyzed with direct-to-consumer companies like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or FamilyTreeDNA, you can upload your genomic information to DNA.Land’s database and help scientists learn more about the genetics of breast cancer.  The genomic data, along with answers from a breast cancer questionnaire developed by NBCC-trained advocates and researchers, will be used to identify genetic variants that impact risk and recurrence of the disease.

You can learn more about the collaboration here and here.

other news

New Staff at NBCC
We are happy to welcome four new staff members to the NBCC team.

Manoucheka Attime, Director of Strategic Communications joins NBCC after spending several years at the PR firm Powell Tate/Weber Shandwick rising to the position of Vice President. There, she worked with clients such as the US Army, the Kellogg Foundation, Bank of America, Center for Disease Control, Rock the Vote, Reading is Fundamental and many more. Manoucheka also spent time on the Hill working in Senator Diane Feinstein’s office.

Arshad Khan, Finance Manager, has extensive experience in finance and accounting and has experience as an entrepreneur as well as in the non-profit field. His vast experience provides a unique perspective that he will apply at NBCC.

Judy Taylor, Chief Advancement Officer, comes to NBCC from The ALS Association – DC/MD/VA Chapter where she was the Executive Director. Judy has experience leading comprehensive development programs, a proven track record of major gift solicitation and building partnerships. Prior to her work at ALS, Judy was the Regional Development Director at the Foundation for Fighting Blindness and worked as the Director of Development for the AIDS Taskforce in Cleveland, Ohio.

Michelle Tregear, Director, Education and Training Programs, comes to NBCC from AFYA, Inc. where she was a Project Director and Sr. Research Analyst. In this role she worked on a multitude of training development and educational initiatives. Some of her most recent projects include AHRQ’s accredited SHARE Approach shared decision making training program and Training the Next Generation of PCOR Investigators to Lead Research on the Learning Health System. Prior to this, she provided health services research and clinical and scientific writing for various Federal Government and private clients.

For a list of all NBCC staff click here.

Les Girls - October 7, 2018 - Avalon Hollywood - California
Please join us in celebrating the 18th annual Les Girls Cabaret on Sunday, October 7, 2018, at the Avalon Hollywood.  This year we will honor Armando Giuliano, MD and the award will be presented by Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The event will continue our tradition of a witty and fun evening with plenty of song and dance – all to raise funds for NBCC. Further information and a reservation form can be found here.

New York Gala- October 29, 2018 - The Pierre - New York
Join us on Monday, October 29th for the 23rd Annual New York Gala. We will honor Mark Alles, CEO, Celgene and two breast cancer grassroots advocates for their commitment to Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.  This annual fundraising event should not be missed.  Find out further details or RSVP here.

Making an Impact Together
Through the generosity of our supporters, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) is able to invest in our mission to end breast cancer. Below are some easy ways you can make a direct impact on our work toward that mission:

Recurring donations are the backbone of NBCC’s work. These donations allow NBCC to plan strategic public policy initiatives and innovative research projects all with a goal of ending breast cancer.

Workplace Giving is an easy way to support NBCC. Donating at work through payroll deductions is simple and there are many convenient ways to contribute. 

Remember to always check in with your employer to see if they’ll match your contribution to NBCC.  More than 7,500 U.S. corporations match gifts made by employees. By taking advantage of a company's matching gift program, you can generate an additional gift that may automatically double or triple your own contribution.    

When you support NBCC, you ensure the National Breast Cancer Coalition continues to bring experts and visionaries together to reframe the approach to science and research to focus on ending breast cancer and saving women's lives.

For more information or to pledge your support, visit or contact Judy Taylor, Chief Advancement Officer at jtaylor@BreastCancerDeadline2020.orgor 202.973.0594