When and how did you get involved with SHARE?
After a diagnosis of breast cancer in the spring of 1991 I felt that death was imminent primarily because my father and my grandmother died six months after their diagnoses of cancer. I knew nothing about cancer staging and the difference between early stage and late stage cancer. I was a wreck and several doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering recommended SHARE. I went to SHARE and immediately felt the SHARE love. Many people there had a large body of knowledge and compassion. Not only did I get accurate information regarding my cancer, early stage, my usual curiosity kicked in and I learned about breast cancer. I became a committed volunteer at SHARE.
In what ways have you been involved with SHARE, and how has SHARE helped you?
I was asked and accepted to be on the Board of Directors of SHARE. I met many people, some who are still my good friends. I had been a member of other boards and a volunteer, but I never felt such a sense of comradeship and love as I did at SHARE. I served on the board for about ten years and saw a great deal of transition in the organization, all good. I was a representative for SHARE on the NBCC Board for about 8 years. I was and am committed to SHARE’S mission to help people and their families receive information and support while dealing with the trauma of breast and ovarian cancers.
During my active involvement with SHARE I was selected to be in a book about breast cancer, entitled Breast Cancer Let Me Check My Schedule. It includes the experiences of many women who had breast cancer and it is still for sale.
I was also able to assist many women at SHARE receive monies from the MDL and DOW class actions for rupture and replacement of their implants (MDL stands for Multi District Litigation court proceedings for all breast implant manufacturers other than DOW). It turns out that those silicone implants were never expected to last more than 10 to 20 years. Also some women received monies for damages due to silicone related diseases caused by ruptures.
What is your 40th anniversary wish for SHARE?
As for the future of SHARE, I hope it is able to continue to provide all of the current and new services in whatever manner services may be conveyed in the future. The medical community is getting closer to giving all cancer patients specific treatment geared to the person’s genetic makeup in order to control and eliminate the disease. No matter what treatments are available, the trauma of a diagnosis and the subsequent treatment take an emotional toll. What SHARE has and gives will always be needed. SHARE will always be in my heart and soul. CONGRATULATIONS TO SHARE ON ITS 40TH BIRTHDAY!