Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Chance to Give Back!

There have been several organizations that have been irreplaceable during my BRCA journey, including the BRCA Sisterhood (on Facebook), the Young Breast Cancer Survivor Group at my hospital and the FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) organization (http://www.facingourrisk.org/). FORCE is an organization that has been very helpful to me and my family during our BRCA journey. The FORCE community gives people a place to share and get support and information on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. It is a community where others understand what you or your loved ones are going through. I have found it extremely helpful to learn more about what other women have been through and found it useful in preparing myself prior to my surgery. The message boards are a safe place to ask questions, talk about your fears and concerns and talk to women who have been through similar experiences. My city even has a FORCE support group that I have attended. They also have a yearly conference that involves experts in hereditary cancers, physicians, surgeons, and information on understanding your risks, surveillance, surgery, healthy living, support groups and so much more. It is a wonderful support base.

Okay, so this is really unlike me to ask others for something...but I have found the FORCE organization to be very helpful during my quest for answers and support during my BRCA journey. If they were to place high enough in the Chase Community Giving Campaign it would be very beneficial to many people. The FORCE website was one of the first places I went when I found out about my BRCA1+ status because my sister had already been going there for a few years. If you have a free minute, your vote would count and could help numerous people. Below is some information explaining the Chase Community Giving Campaign, more information about FORCE and how you could vote to help a wonderful organization. Voting really is quick and easy! Thank you so much for your support!

What is Chase Community Giving?

In a nutshell, Chase has a campaign on Facebook and is going to be giving away a total of $5 million dollars to be split between 200 charities. The charity with the most votes will receive $250K, 4 runner-ups will receive $100K, and 195 charities will receive $20K.

What is FORCE?

FORCE is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of and improving the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (such as BRCA mutants like me!). They provide lifesaving information on the latest medical treatment and risk management, resources, and awareness.

Voting on Facebook starts June 15, 2010 and 200 winning charities will be announced on July 13, 2010.

What would FORCE do with the money if they won?

For starters:
$1,000 delivers the latest in BRCA research and information to 500 families.
$500 gives 60,000 visitors access to their website for one month.
$300 provides a scholarship to FORCE’s annual conference to one person that could not otherwise attend.

$200 provides life-saving information to 100 people through their newsletter.
$100 provides phone-based support and resources via the Helpline for one month.
$50 provides a package of informational brochures to doctor’s offices and hospitals.

Just think – if $2250 can do all of that – how much good could be done even if we only place among the bottom 195, and win the lowest amount of $20,000! That’s a whole lot of help, to a whole lot of people!


“To improve the lives of individuals and families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.”

To this end, FORCE has eight mission objectives:

• To provide women with resources to determine whether they are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer due to genetic predisposition, family history, or other factors.
• To provide information about options for managing and living with these risk factors.
• To provide support for women as they pursue these options.
• To provide support for families facing these risks.
• To raise awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
• To represent the concerns and interests of our high-risk constituency to the cancer advocacy community, the scientific and medical community, the legislative community, and the general public.
• To promote research specific to hereditary cancer.
• To reduce disparities among under-served populations by promoting access to information, resources and clinical trials specific to hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Why is all of this important? As someone who has a BRCA genetic mutation, having an organization like FORCE on my side is invaluable. Without knowledge of what these genetic mutations mean, people can and do die from hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Spreading information saves lives, and provides much needed peace of mind, education, and emotional support for those of us afflicted with this mutation.

If you are on Facebook then it’s very simple to vote. First click here:

The next step is to join the movement by scrolling down just a little bit on the page & clicking the ‘Like’ button.

Next step: Click the big green ‘Search’ button and copy this text: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered and paste it in the box that says ‘Charity Name.’

Click the big blue ‘Search’ button to the right of that.

After you click that, you’ll see Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered in blue lettering. Click it.

Scroll down & check the box that says: “Please display my name and profile picture below so this charity knows it can contact me to get more involved.”

Click submit. A ‘Request for Permission’ box will pop up. Click ‘Allow’.

Vote – and share with your friends, and ask them to share with their friends, and so on.

I really appreciate your consideration in voting for FORCE. Although you are only able to vote for each organization one time, you have 20 votes total, so you can look at helping other organizations close to your heart as well! Thank you very much to anyone who is able to vote! I really appreciate your support! :)

Until next time, here’s to FORCE, Chase Community Giving and silicone!


  1. Thank you so much for blogging about this and helping to spread the word. We need votes if we are going to win this for FORCE - Thanks so much for doing your part. :)

  2. Teri - Thank you for all that you are doing for FORCE! You are amazing! Keep up the great work! :)