Spotlighting 30 Faces of Prevention from the last 30 Years
For our 30th birthday, we honor 30 individuals who’ve demonstrated their commitment to breast cancer prevention over the last 30 years!
Loan officer, pharmacist, mother/wife
Since my cancer wasn’t genetic, like 90% of all breast cancer cases, I am convinced it was caused by what I had been exposed to. I have joined the fight to prevent breast cancer so that, together, we can make an impact from my story and the thousands of stories like mine. We all have a role to play if we want to create change that will result in prevention. I hope that you will join me in the critical movement to prevent breast cancer, which affects even young mothers like myself. Our opportunity for change is NOW.
Dr. Linda Birnbaum
Former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program
What an honor for me to be able to celebrate Breast Cancer Prevention Partner’s leadership in science policy and advocacy to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals. As a daughter of a breast cancer survivor I have no problem with treatment and cures but how much better to prevent breast cancer in the first place. While we can’t change our genes, we can change our environment! As the 2012 recipient of the BCPP’s heroes award, I applaud BCPP for focusing on what my grandma always told me, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”
Former program manager, BCPP, cancer support group facilitator, much-loved friend to so many, Contributor to Art.Rage.Us. May 10, 1953 – February 28, 2017
Merijane Block lived with cancer for 25 years, 20 of them Stage IV. She worked for organizations focused on education and advocacy for women with cancer, including BCPP. When diagnosed in 1991 with breast cancer, Merijane started a lifelong journey of connecting with and sharing support with others. She was an artist and poet who used her writing to bring skill, wisdom, and insight to the cancer journey. In April 1992, this poem came to her one week after her second surgery. It was included in Art.Rage.Us., Art and Writing by Women with Breast Cancer:
22 April 1992
Everything takes longer
than you think it should
or thought it would.
Except your life.
Senator Cory Booker
U.S. Senator of New Jersey
There is nothing we cannot accomplish when we lead with love and inspire it in others. When it comes to breast cancer, BCPP’s unique leadership, light and love work to prevent this disease. We must understand the grave disparities that are affecting black women. Black women are significantly more likely than white women to get breast cancer and at an earlier age. One of the reasons why is because of systemic racism. The number one indicator of whether you live around toxics, drink dirty water, breathe dirty air, have access only to unhealthy foods and food deserts, even living around superfund sites is race. We know that environmental injustice and racism is one of the principal drivers of disease illness and cancers in our country. We cannot address this issue unless we name it, know it, and make ourselves determined to combat it. This is why I am inspired by BCPP focusing on the injustice pushed upon Black women facing racial discrimination in our systems from health care to economic justice to environmental justice to even encounters with the police. All of these things create environments that are wholly unhealthy to mind body and spirit. If we are to truly prevent breast cancer we must focus together on understanding that Black’s women’s injustice is our injustice. So thank you, BCPP, for your light, your leadership, and for your love. This organization inspires me in my work and may we all ignite the light and the love of our nation to end this injustice and make real the promise of America that we should be a nation of life liberty and justice for all!
Jenn & Chris Carr
Shasta Mountain Guides, BCPP Heroes
Prevention is important to us because we believe the planet can be a healthier place for all of us to not just survive but thrive. At first glance mountain climbing is about personal achievement, but if you take a deeper look at what we do as a company it is really about connecting with others and nature. We believe in Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ mission wholeheartedly. We also believe that business can be used to improve our world. We see the difference Climb Against the Odds makes in the lives of the climbers first hand and we believe that the funds raised are being used to make the world a healthier place for all. It is fabulous to us that what we do as guides can be used for the greater good.
Nothing significant is ever accomplished by one human being. We each have an important role to play in progressing the prevention of breast cancer. BCPP is fostering change built on a scientific foundation that has the potential to reduce or remove breast cancer for generations to come.
Retired systems analyst, the founder and director of New England Peaks for Prevention
I am a 17-year breast cancer survivor, a member of the 2009 Climb against the Odds team, an avid hiker, kayaker, master gardener, basket weaver and most importantly the mom of 2 beautiful young women.
Prevention is important to me because of my daughters, my friends and my family. I have seen how breast cancer and cancer in general destroys families. I lost my own Dad to cancer when I was young, and recently I lost a dear friend to breast cancer. I saw how my disease impacted my daughters as they went through the experience with me. I know we can do much better in preventing these horrible diseases and the work of BCPP is vital for both educating the public and changing the policy to keep us all safe, from toxins lurking in our everyday environment. I think everyone should support the work of BCPP because we all want a better future for the next generation, one where we can trust the air, the water and everything we use in our daily lives – because of the important work they do. People should support BCPP because they are the ones who not only talk the talk but they walk the walk too. We would all like to see cancer eradicated for future generations and the way to do that is through prevention. Bravo to BCPP for 30 years of exemplary work in the field of prevention.
Human Resources Executive – CommonSpirit Health, BCPP Board Member
I want to be a part of something larger than me. A breast cancer diagnosis is devasting and fatal for far too many women. Prevention means healthier communities and I hope that I am doing a small part to help.
BCPP recognizes that breast cancer is a social justice issue. The organization employs science and policy to move the needle to make our communities healthier. We should all support BCPP”s efforts as the work is so integral to the health of our collective environment and our sustainability for the future.
Husband, father, physician, regular person, someone who has breast cancer.
Like most of us, I have witnessed many people live with, struggle with, and die from cancer. Some were family, some friends, all were someone’s loved one. I happen to have breast cancer, but all cancers are frightening and can be awful. While cures, if possible, are wonderful, prevention would be so much better.
BCPP is working to identify environmental causes of breast cancer, and to eliminate our exposure to them. When they succeed, we can know what to avoid to limit our risk. Even better, BCPP can lobby to eliminate carcinogens from our diet, products we use, and our environment. This work can make breast cancer, and all of the sadness and loss that it brings, a rare disease, rather than the all-too-common curse that it is. That is a cause that I believe we all can support.
La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson
Daughter, sister, wife, mother, writer, life coach.
My mother died of breast cancer when she was only 53 years old. I was a 17-year-old, high school junior. I made a decision that I would find out as much about this disease as possible and do my best to share that information with others. Prevention is the best medicine and once I discovered there were indeed things that increased risk (environmental carcinogens) and ways to reduce risk (early detection/screening, diet, stress) I was all in. The year my mother died changed my life and I have done what I could to prevent others from suffering the same loss.
It is simple. BCPP makes a difference and is the only organization focusing its energy and resources to PREVENTING breast cancer. The diagnosis of breast cancer brings with it a sense of powerlessness. BCPP empowers us to take action and gives hope that one day breast cancer will be something that “used to” happen to people.
Safety & Sustainability expert, Boundary-pusher for beauty industry, Activist, Ally, Reader, Thinker, Do-er, Mom, Friend, Animal-lover, Food and wine enthusiast
When we think with a solution mindset, prevention is really the only way forward. Stop breast cancer before it starts, whenever we can. Thinking of breast cancer as something strictly to be treated and cured isn’t going to get us where we all want to be. Likewise, the thinking the leads us to “ban” one toxic chemical or process at a time– that’s also not going to get us there. A holistic, prevention- focused approach will protect health and quality of living, allow for less heartache and pain, and more productive days and an overall healthier economy–and most importantly, more dinners with friends, more memories with families.
BCPP is the leading organization working on preventing breast cancer before it starts. We are living in a time when we need science-based guidance, critical thinking, and collective action to stop the use of toxic and unsustainable chemicals, materials and processes linked to cancer and reproductive harm. BCPP is here for that work, and helping to protect our children’s children.
Health-Science writer, Breast-Cancer survivor and activist and an advocate for women’s health
Prevention is the only way to stop the epidemic of breast cancer and other cancers. Current treatment and “curative” measures employed by clinicians have limited efficacy and benefit the pharmaceutical companies and health care providers substantially more than they do the patients. Identifying and eliminating the causes would prove to be much more effective and economical. As long as we diagnose and treat cancer with a known causative agent (radiation) we will never achieve true prevention.
Prevention should be the primary focus on eliminating the growing epidemic of cancer in our society, not the costly “curative” treatment regimens that are currently in-use and only marginally effective in eliminating the disease. Identifying and eliminating the causes are the only logical means to get rid of this fatal foe.
Daughter & Friend
As the daughter of a cancer survivor, I’ve seen first-hand how one’s environment can dictate one’s risk for the disease – even with the utmost of care. For me, prevention means accountability for those in power to provide a safer tomorrow for ourselves and our loved ones.
The amount BCPP has accomplished across multiple arenas is astounding. How many other organizations can boast dozens of laws passed year over year? How many other organizations can claim that they take major corporations to task and invoke change? All the while, how many can do so while creating advocates and partners at a national scale? In short, BCPP has a history entrenched in results.
Climb Against the Odds 2011, Sacred Treks 2012: Ladakh, Volunteer & Supporter, Funder of BCPP’s science work: The Falling Age of Puberty and State of the Evidence
Prevention matters to me because it saves lives. That’s the most important thing. Prevention makes sense to me and BCPP is doing the important work for us all. What they do is helping all of us live better, healthier lives, and protecting future generations too.
Janet Gray, Ph.D.
Mother, grandmother, scientist, teacher
Prevention means healthier and less scary futures, especially for our children’s and grandchildren’s generations. Prevention means taking action to stop disease before it develops, and also to enhance the beauty and viability of the environment in which we all live.
BCPP is an incredible organization, small but mighty. Its work is science-based, community-oriented and powerfully impactful. I am so very proud to have worked with the staff of BCPP as a volunteer for over 15 years.
Long time board member, mother, wife, attorney
Prevention is key to stopping this disease; living with safer products will benefit all of us living on this planet.
I believe we have an obligation to take care of each other, our children, our grandchildren, and all those who come after. For 30 years BCPP has been at the forefront of creating safe products, eliminating toxic chemicals, advocating for legislation to ensure a safer future for of us, and translating the science so that we all understand that toxic chemicals are causing breast cancer. The important work of BCPP will help us protect ourselves and our children.
Mather Martin in honor of Andrea Martin
BCPP Supporter, BCPP Board Member, Founder Ravinett Strategies
I’ve been part of the BCPP community for most of my life. My mother Andrea Martin, a two-time breast cancer survivor, founded the Breast Cancer Fund in 1992 when I was nine years old. I remember my first job was stuffing envelopes with the organization’s inaugural fundraising letters. Thirty years later, I’m proud to be a donor, advocate and active member of this vital community. Please support BCPP so they may continue the journey that my mother so courageously embarked upon three decades ago.
Dr. Jasmine McDonald
Black mother, educator, author, scientist, doctor, BCPP Board Member, BCPP SAP Member
What is breast cancer prevention to me?
1. Life course strategies to reduce breast cancer risk through the mitigation and elimination of carcinogenic external exposures, especially those that can be eliminated by upstream macro-level factors. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners is critical to this goal. BCPP can impact and change the laws, regulations, and policies that harm Black women. For example, endocrine disruptor chemicals in hair care products, those commonly used by women of color, are associated with a host of adverse health outcomes. Yet, the onus to avoid these chemicals should not be on the individual but instead restricted by our laws.
2. Screening and early detection is available and achievable for every woman.
3. Improving overall survival for young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and are simultaneously raising the next generation.
Will you join me and support BCPP’s mission today? Together, let’s advance breast cancer prevention!
Actress & Activist
“I’m Alyssa Milano and I support Breast Cancer Prevention Partners! I will go out on a limb and use my voice for things that I believe in. Originally, a California legislator contacted me and said, we have this bill, let me send you some information. And I have to tell you, when she sent me the information, I was appalled that there are so many chemicals in our cosmetics and our products – things like shampoos and deodorants! I didn’t understand why it was a state bill first of all. We should be eliminating all of these toxics from our products on a federal level, not just a state level. I think women’s health is really important. I think it’s an important thing to fight for. You know, having toxics in our cosmetics is just another example of how that fight needs to be fought – we just have to do a better job. We are very good in this country at being reactionary; we’re not very good at being preemptive. I’m hopeful that together we are able to educate and empower our young girls and women on these toxic chemicals that are in our products so that they can continue the fight!”
Olympic World Medalist, 2x World Cup Champion
As a new mom and in honor of wanting the absolute best for my baby girl, I’m supporting Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and their mission to prevention the disease.
Kaki Saxon Moyce
Registered Nurse, Twenty seven year breast cancer survivor-Bilateral mastectomies with reconstruction
Peak Hike is my favorite day of the year!
I lost my 35 year old younger sister to breast cancer. Her diagnosis preceded mine. Because of her diagnosis, my physician went on “high alert,” I was much more fortunate than Emily (Em the Gem). My daughter is vigilant about her breast exams. I tell all I know, “Know your breasts!” EVERYONE is aware of breast cancer – we all know someone that has been affected by it. We need to PREVENT it. And that is a primary goal of BCPP. That’s why I support this organization. I encourage all my friends and family members to donate to BCPP. We need to protect future generations.
Once a teacher/ forever a teacher, kin to many
Prevention means we live in a clean world where disease, therefore pain, is reduced significantly. As the child of a depression-era mother, it means we can save money spent on treatment because we have eradicated the cause. We have created a toxic dump for our children, we can begin cleaning it up now. We truly can save lives.
Angeleno, Avid runner and hiker, mother of three amazing children, and breast cancer survivor.
I have discovered a passion for mountain climbing through BCPP’s Climb Against the Odds for breast cancer prevention and will make a second attempt to summit Mt. Shasta this summer.
I count at least 20 breast cancer survivors among my family and friends — way too many! I want a world without breast cancer for my two daughters, son, and other loved ones.
Toxic chemicals are causing way too many cases of cancer. We don’t have to live like this! Please help BCPP advocate for the removal of these toxins from products we all use. Please help me raise money for BCPP by going to https://donate.bcpp.org/teamsarah
Joan Reinhardt Reiss
BCPP’s 1st Legislative Advocate, Champion of SF’s Precautionary Principle, Commentator for ads and voiceovers.
Prevention matters to me because it avoids all kinds of radiation and chemotherapy and helps to avoid breast cancer. It doesn’t say that you’ll never get it, but it works in amazing ways. BCPP works to actually stop breast cancer cases in the future and the causes related to chemicals, radiation, and other environmental exposures. We can’t avoid everything, but we can significantly decrease our risk and that’s what Breast Cancer Prevention partners strives to do!
Jeanne Rizzo R.N.
Former President & CEO of BCPP, Chair of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control Board of Environmental Safety.
Why prevention matters: as a woman, mother, grandmother, auntie and nurse, preventing future generations from the devastation of breast cancer is a personal mission. Precautionary Principle serves as the Hippocratic Oath of the environmental health and justice movement. BCPP has been in the vanguard of the breast cancer prevention movement – rooted in academic and citizen science, BCPP‘s advocacy for innovative policy and business accountability relies on the generosity of donors. Here is the link associated with my Chair-ship: https://dtsc.ca.gov/bes/.
I’ve had friends and family impacted by cancer. And thank goodness for modern medicine and procedures to help. But what if removing exposure to some [hidden] chemical was the difference between having to deal (battle) cancer in the first place? What if preventing cariogenic chemical from going into shampoo or cosmetics is the difference?
I don’t know if it’s cultural or instinctual, but we all want to leave something for the next generation. And we want to leave something ‘better.’ BCPP’s mission is to help leave a better, happier, and healthier environment. Environment can be a micro as our bodies or home, or macro like our community or world.
Congresswoman Jackie Speier
U.S. representative for California’s 14th congressional district
BCPP has been as effective as ever, building on 30 years of historic gains. In the last two years, BCPP had four bills signed into law by governor Newsom, laws that will make a difference in the lives of so many. Laws that will help us march forth to our vision and goal to have fewer people hear the dreaded words ‘you have breast cancer’ from their doctors. It’s been my distinct honor to work with BCPP over many years to march towards the goal, both while I was in the California legislature and now in the U.S. congress. We all know that partnerships on the state and federal level are crucial to eliminate cancer. We’ve had a significant victory on the federal level with the breast cancer research stamp being reauthorized, which your late founder and my dear friend Andrea Martin advocated for. Since it was signed into law, more than a billion stamps have been sold over the last 20 years, generating more than 89 million dollars for critically needed research funding at no cost to the taxpayers. We still have a quarter million cases of breast cancer a year in the U.S. – almost 30,000 alone in California. Every single one of them is one too many. Your work is truly making a difference, and I know you won’t stop until there are none. Congratulations on all your achievements over the last three decades.
Joanne and Greg Starkman
Co-Founders, Innersense Organic Beauty, pioneers of clean, pure, organic and non-toxic professional quality hair care products, Parents of Morgan and Max
Innersense Organic Beauty has doubled down on our commitment to preserving the health of stylists and consumers by uniting with Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP), a leader in science-based policy and advocacy.
As co-founders we support BCPP and their Campaign for Safe Cosmetics because they advocate for the health of consumers, workers, and the environment.
Through public education, corporate accountability and sustainability campaigns, and legislative policy, BCPP aims to eliminate dangerous chemicals in cosmetic and personal care products linked to adverse health effects.
Cathy Ann Taylor
BCPP Hero, International Travel and Mountaineering Guide, Founder, Cattara, Adventures with Insight.
Every year I add another friend to the list of people in my life who have been diagnosed with/or passed away from cancer, and this year is no different. That’s why I’ve supported the organization for 25 years and lead a team of inspiring women and men on Sacred Treks to benefit BCPP. I climb to honor my grandmother and many other friends who have faced breast cancer. BCPP remains the leading science-based policy and advocacy organization working to prevent breast cancer (and all cancers) by reducing our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.
Bridget in honor of Leslie Vanoni
BCPP Climber, Daughter, Sister
On my fourth birthday, my mom was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She was just 36 years old. 10 years later, her cancer returned. This time the diagnosis was devastating – Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer to her bones and lungs. On February 26, 2019, I lost not only my mom to breast cancer, I lost my best friend and the person in my life I loved the most.
When my mom got sick, her greatest wish was to ensure a healthy and disease-free future for me and my twin sister – especially since she was unsure about her own future. My mom put her trust in BCPP as the only national organization solely focused on the science linking breast cancer to chemicals in our everyday lives. She knew how important it is to find out what causes breast cancer so that she could protect her daughters from getting it.
Today, BCPP continues to guide my everyday decision-making by translating the science and making it easier for people like me to live a healthier life. If BCPP tells me that toxic chemicals are in a specific shampoo or product, I stay clear of it knowing that I am potentially making a life-saving decision about what I put in and on my body.
BCPP’s interventions reduce risk, improve the environment, and increase the safety of our products, while reducing health disparities for people in vulnerable communities.
Wife, mom, daughter, friend to many, survivor, Founder of Ridge Hike for Prevention
I pride myself on being a compassionate wife, mom, daughter and friend to many. As a survivor, I would like to think that I am a mentor to many newly diagnosed women. I really take it to heart when I receive a call from someone who’s world has suddenly crashed down around them, as a result of their diagnosis. A breast cancer ambassador or welcome wagon to a club nobody wants to be in. Why does prevention matter to you? Anything that we can do to prevent others from having to go through the process is a bonus. Fighting so others don’t have to.
As my cancer was most likely environmental, it is important that we continue the research to eliminate toxic chemicals in everyday products. BCPP gives me the perfect avenue to do this.
World explorer, hiker of mountains, lifetime learner
If one looks at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, as simply an organization I support, and raise funds for, they would be correct, but it is so much more. Becoming involved with BCPP, has been one of the greatest personal growth opportunities I’ve experienced, and I am beyond honored to have been chosen as one of their 30 Faces of Prevention.
The people I’ve met, the inspirational stories I’ve heard, and witnessed, and the relationships I’ve formed, have far outweighed any efforts I’ve made on behalf of BCPP.
My Daughter, Granddaughter, Sister, Nieces, Aunts, and friends are my driving reasons for supporting BCPP. The work this organization does is awe inspiring. BCPP is working to eradicate cancer causing ingredients, and focused on creating and passing legislation to help keep people safe from exposures while at home and work. BCPP also provides up to date information on chemicals, and information to make safe product choices, and much much more.
I’ve been proud to represent BCPP, and spread the word of all the available information, and support that they provide. If you have been looking for a worthwhile organization, that you can feel good about supporting – BCPP is it…they are a well ran organization with a huge heart, that work tirelessly to effect a safer future for everyone.
A most Happy 30th Birthday to this amazing organization, and I look forward to witnessing many more years of their ground breaking work.
Match your donation: double the good. Give a birthday gift today!
In honor of BCPP’s 30th birthday month, Klean Kanteen will match donations dollar for dollar this March. Will you help raise $10,000 to prevent breast cancer?