Advocates in Action

Christine Carpenter

Location: Iowa
Topic: Advocacy

Deceptively calm and composed, Christine Carpenter, with the Iowa Cedar Valley Cancer Committee’s Beyond Pink TEAM, and the Iowa Breast Cancer Advocacy Network, is a fierce advocate for NBCC’s federal policy priorities and its mission to end breast cancer. Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer 27 years ago. Since then, she has dedicated her life to ending breast cancer. She takes on all aspects of the NBCC mission: she acts as Iowa field coordinator, is a team leader, a board member, a science advocate, and a leader in every sense of the word.

Members of the Iowa Congressional delegation know Christine and her fellow Iowa advocates. She continues to develop strong personal relationships with Iowa congressional offices, and they count on her to provide evidence-based information to guide their policy decisions. They also know that Christine is persistent and doesn’t take no for an answer. Just one example: in 1998, Christine and other members of the Beyond Pink TEAM asked U.S. Senator Charles Grassley to provide leadership to help pass the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act. Because of their dedication to the issue and constant outreach, he became a lead advocate for the bill that became law in 2001. Women are now Medicaid-eligible to receive health care, including treatment for breast and cervical cancer, even when they don’t qualify for a standard Medicaid program. In 2019, The Iowa Cancer Consortium (ICC) awarded Christine and the Cedar Valley Cancer Committee’s Beyond Pink TEAM, ICC’s 2019 Cancer Champion Award. This state-wide award is given to a person/organization with a significant contribution to cancer control policy, systems, or environmental changes.

Christine does not stop at policy advocacy. She immersed herself in science, graduated from NBCC’s Project LEAD®, and Advanced LEAD, and serves as a reviewer on various breast cancer research programs. She is an all-around advocate, a woman of firm resolve, courageous, focused, smart and effective.