National Breast Cancer Coalition

Get On The Clock

Deadline 2020 Champion - Bethany Zell

Support Bethany!

Fundraising Progress

50 percent of goal achieved.

Goal: $1,000.00
Achieved: $500.00

People who know me for my work in breast cancer advocacy often wonder if I am a survivor of breast cancer myself.  I always use that opportunity to them why I do what I do.  When I was living in Chattanooga, TN, my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She was only 39 years old and had to undergo a radical double mastectomy and chemotherapy treatments followed by years of treatments with a drug called Herceptin.  She was single, lived alone and had no family living nearby.  I was able to support her during that time and what I saw changed my life forever.  My heart broke for her and what she had to go through.  Cancer is an ugly disease and it is indiscriminate….it doesn’t care if you have insurance, if your income is the only one you have to pay the bills or if you’re 5 or 65.  

When I moved back to my hometown of Caribou, Maine in 2010, I was a stay-at-home mom and content to remain that way.  One day, while reading through a local paper, a job posting literally jumped off the page at me.  Cary Medical Center was advertising for a part-time breast health advocate.  I knew without a shadow of a doubt that this position was in that newspaper just for me, so I applied, interviewed and was hired.  Since the day that I began what I consider to be my life's most important work and I am so very grateful to have been welcomed into the  breast cancer community even though I am not a “survivor” myself.

I have had the honor of attending the National Breast Cancer Coalition's Advocate Leadership Summit in Washington, DC multiple times as well as their Project LEAD Institute.  Through NBCC I have learned everything from new statistics on breast cancer research to a comprehensive overview of the status quo of breast cancer incidence and treatment; from discussions on how we can change the conversation to END breast cancer to the impact of over-diagnosis and over-treatment of breast cancer; and from learning how to mobilize our grassroots efforts at a local level to the politics that are vital to the end of this disease.  It isn’t just about pink ribbons and awareness. NBCC has given me a voice in Washington, DC on behalf of the extremely rural communities that I serve here in northern Maine.

 In 1991, in the United States, 119 women died of breast cancer every day. More than twenty years and billions of research dollars later, that number is 108. That’s one death—one mother, grandmother, aunt, sister, brother, daughter—every 14 minutes. This year nearly 40,000 women and roughly 400 men will die of breast cancer in this country alone. Worldwide, that figure is more than ten times that amount. These statistics are unacceptable. We need to end breast cancer once and for all.  THAT is why I do what I do.  Please help me in fundraising to attend the 2017 National Breast Cancer Coalition Advocate Summit. Join me in Washington, something!  Everyone can do something and everyone should.


If you think this page contains objectionable content, please inform the system administrator.