Atlantic Region Ambassador Marlene King was born in Jamaica, West Indies and moved to Washington, DC with her family at the age of 13. She has been married to Eric for twenty-eight years and has three sons Eric, II, Bryant and Aston, a granddaughter Taylor and grandson Xavier. She currently resides in Northwest Baltimore. Despite no family history of heart disease or breast cancer; at the age of 39 she suffered a heart attack and at the age of 49 (in April 2008), she was given a Stage 0 (DCIS) breast cancer diagnosis. After years of keeping the cancer at bay, in July 2012 Marlene was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
Shannon Kegebein, Lead Ambassador for the Great Lakes Region, lives in Brighton, Michigan. Shannon’s sister Stephanie Maltby is her inspiration. Stephanie was diagnosed at Stage IV in 2009 and died January 12, 2014 at the age of 34. Together they launched The Sisterhood of the Stage IV Traveling Pants and through them Stephanie lives on. Shannon is passionate in her advocacy and lucky to have her enthusiasm as part of METAvivor!
The recent twenty-five year follow-up of the Canadian National Breast Screening study concluded that early detection is not lowering the death rate from breast cancer. Yet the push for prevention and early detection over improved treatment for the metastatic community continues as evidence by the new World Cancer Report. These reports prompted METAvivor Director of Advocacy Dian “CJ” Corneliussen-James to revisit an article she wrote for Health Policy Solutions in June 2011. Read the original article below, with CJ’s updates in italics. Sadly, the news is not good.
Researchers have told me time and time again that it is extremely difficult to get seed money to fund new ideas. Organizations that give large sums of money for research expect a reasonable chance that the research will be successful, and thus, tend to fund studies that explore ideas for which data has already been collected. Therefore, in order to show that an idea has merit, you must have some data. And you need data to get money. So, how do you generate data with no money?
I’ve been living with metastatic/stage IV breast cancer (MBC) for seven years. During that time it has become abundantly clear that the facts associated with MBC are not only rare and hard to find, but that they are often not corroborated and/or not current and/or misquoted and/or illogically used. Often, MBC facts are just plain non-existent. So this year for Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day x 10 Day 3, I am asking those who actually collect the data .. or could collect the data … or should collect the data… or who are tasked with reporting the data… to do what is necessary to bring clarity and accuracy to metastatic breast cancer statistics, starting with the five topics below.