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Making the Voices & Faces of the People Living With Breast Cancer Heard

Article / Review by on October 4, 2011 – 8:56 pmNo Comments

Making the Voices & Faces of the People Living With Breast Cancer Heard

“I never dreamed that as an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN), volunteer attending their annual Lobby Day on Capitol Hill, I would also be given the opportunity to represent ACSCAN as one of their Champions of Change at the White House!  To have been nominated was fabulous, but to have been selected is truly an honor and privilege.

Peggy Belanger is a breast health nurse and the Cancer Care Coordinator at Southern Main Medical Center, a 150-bed community hospital in Southern Maine.

As a Champion of Change in the fight against breast cancer I had the opportunity to share my experience as the Cancer Care Coordinator at Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford, ME.  I was one of 12 panelists at the White House Champions of Change program which focused on breast cancer early detection and prevention programs, education and awareness initiatives, and most importantly how to move forward to end this disease through continued funding for research.  ACS CAN, NBCC, and Susan G. Komen breast cancer survivors, health care providers and leaders of the above organizations comprised the panel. Our discussion was led by First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff Tina Tchen.

I focused my discussion on the need for more collaboration amongst health care providers and service organizations, especially given the reductions in funding and staffing.  We also need to offer programs and services identified by those individuals diagnosed with breast cancer.  Most importantly, I, as well as many of my fellow ACS CAN colleagues, spoke from the heart.  We all felt a responsibility to be the Voices & Faces of the people living with breast cancer.

Although we are called Champions of Change, our work to influence policy makers and secure investments in cancer prevention and research programs is far from over.  My experience at this White House event has encouraged me to continue the “fight”, and to rally as much support as I can. It is only by working together can we be successful in eradicating this disease, not only breast cancer, but this dreadful disease called cancer.”

By Peggy Belanger

Peggy Belanger is a breast health nurse and the Cancer Care Coordinator at Southern Maine Medical Center, a 150-bed community hospital in Southern Maine.

 

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Champions of Change: Leaders in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

The best ideas come from the people. Everyone has a story to tell, everyone has a part to play. All acroiss the country, ordinary Americans are doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.
 
Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century.
 
Every week these Champions of Change are invited to the White House to share their ideas to win the future.
 
 
Champions of Change is a weekly initiative to highlight Americans who are making an impact in their communities and helping our country rise to meet the many challenges of the 21st century. Every week these Champions of Change are invited to the White House to share their ideas to win the future.
  

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The White HouseThe White House Logo

 

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by  The White House

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