Challenge Cancer 2020 is our visionary initiative to cut cancer rates in Maine by 2020. Our goal for a Maine less burdened by cancer requires active participation from people and communities across the state. Our success depends on inviting key stakeholders to the table to share strategy, tactics, and experience.
We recently sat down with one of our stakeholders: Sarah Mayberry, Program Manager of MaineHealth’s Center for Tobacco Independence. Before moving to Maine Health, Sarah was the head of the Breathe Easy Coalition (BEC), which received several Maine Cancer Foundation tobacco prevention grants. She currently serves on MCF’s Board of Directors, to help us understand the importance of tobacco use prevention in Maine.
When Sarah was young, she dreamed of going into the medical profession. She grew up in Norway, Maine, and eventually attended the University of Southern Maine where her early dreams directed her studies in human biology and biochemistry. While she had no formal plans to enter the public health arena, her first jobs out of college set the wheels in motion.
Did you know that the Maine Breast Cancer Support Specialty License Plate benefits Maine Cancer Foundation? The proceeds from vehicles that are registered with the Breast Cancer Support Specialty Plate are distributed equally among programs across Maine that support breast and cervical health programs, including Maine Cancer Foundation.
Maine Cancer Foundation has announced a recent funding award of $375,000 to foster the development of a commercially available early test for estrogen negative breast cancer. Dr. Srinidi Mohan, an assistant professor in the University of New England College of Pharmacy has received a provisional patent for his early detection and disease monitoring method, which uses a marker in the blood to detect the presence of highly aggressive tumors and to help track cancer growth.
This groundbreaking work aligns with MCF’s mission of reducing incidence and mortality of cancer throughout Maine.
According to the 2014 Maine Cancer Surveillance Report, “Maine females have a higher prevalence of breast cancer screening compared to U.S. females.” A portion of the statistic can be contributed to Maine CDC’s Breast and Cervical Health Program (MBCHP), which provides “breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to underserved women” (MBCHP website). Women who qualify receive free clinical breast and pelvic exams at provider locations statewide.
In our Snapshots blog series, we turn to Maine Cancer Foundation constituents - from staff, board members and other volunteers, donors, grant recipients and beyond - to share important moments in their lives related to cancer. Our series will paint a broad stroke of the cancer landscape in the state, while narrowing the focus into the rare and intimate moments that bring us all together.
Snapshots #6 is the story of Maine Cancer Foundation’s Event Manager, Julia Bachelder. At 23 she found out she was a BRCA 2 carrier, she shares how she navigates through her journey.
“My grandfather died of breast cancer,” said Julia Bachelder, Maine Cancer Foundation’s Events Manager. Growing up, I knew he’d passed away from cancer, but it wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned he’d had breast cancer. Statistically, women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, but genetics play a large role in the diagnosis of men. “My dad asked my sister if we wanted him to be tested [for the breast cancer gene],” she reflected. “Some people want to know and some people don’t.” Julia and her sister asked her father to be tested, and they learned he was a carrier.