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March 26, 2016
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1 Introduction
Breast Cancer Network of Strength



The Breast Cancer Network of Strength (formerly known as Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, or Y-ME) is a Chicago-based national nonprofit organization with the mission to ensure, through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone. Breast Cancer Network of Strength does not fund research but does advocate for research.

Breast Cancer Network of Strength's headquarters is in Chicago, but it has affiliates all throughout the United States, which provide peer support, educational programs, and coordinate advocacy efforts. Breast Cancer Network of Strength is the only multilingual 24-hour hotline in the country, staffed entirely by trained peer counselors who are breast cancer survivors.

Y-ME was founded over a kitchen table in 1978 by Ann Marcou (1932–2004) and Mimi Kaplan (d. 1982), two breast cancer patients who sought to provide support for fellow breast cancer patients and their loved ones. Y-ME developed into a national organization that helped breast cancer patients receive support, access information and make decisions about their healthcare. Nearly 30 years later, Breast Cancer Network of Strength (formerly Y-ME) is a resource for breast cancer support, information and services, all provided free of charge.

Breast Cancer Network of Strength???s newsletters, publications, brochures and Web site, www.networkofstrength.org, provide information and support to those touched by breast cancer in Spanish and English. Other Breast Cancer Network of Strength programs include a survivor match program for patients who have similar diagnoses and life experiences, and a partner match program for husbands and partners of women with breast cancer; the Wig & Prosthesis Bank for those with limited resources; the monthly ShareRing Network Teleconference; and A Day for You and Friends of Ann & Mimi, programs for the medically underserved.

Breast Cancer Network of Strength Advocacy program works to increase breast cancer research funding, support breast cancer related clinical studies and ensure quality health care for all.

In 1991, Margaret Harte, a two-time breast cancer survivor, launched the Walk to Empower in Chicago (formerly the Y-ME Race to Empower) to serve as a symbol of hope, inspiration and support, and to provide an opportunity for individuals to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Since its inception, the Walk to Empower has become a Mother???s Day tradition and the largest cause-related event in Chicago. On Mother???s Day in 2009, the organization will the Breast Cancer Network of Strength Walk to Empower events in 17 cities across the country. Eighty percent of each dollar raised benefits programs and services offered free of charge to those seeking information and support when facing breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Network of Strength was recognized nationwide in its effort to educate women and medical authorities about the risks of silicon breast implants , leading a cadre of 11 major organizations including the American Cancer Society in asking the Food and Drug Administration for a review of implant safety. It is a partner organization of the Sister Study. Breast Cancer Network of Strength is a 501 (c)(3) organization, meets all 41 of the National Health Council???s Standards of Excellence and receives 4 Charity Navigator Stars.

Corporate sponsors include McDonald's, Panera Bread and Walgreens. The Olivia Newton-John album Grace and Gratitude was produced for exclusive sale in Walgreen's, with a free breast self-exam kit and a breast health supplement, to benefit Y-ME with 10% of revenue. Y-ME and Lifetime Television have partnered since 1994 with the joint Stop Breast Cancer for Life Campaign , held during October (National Breast Cancer Awareness Month). In 2008, Lifetime Television aired "Before the Pink Ribbons: A 30-Year History of Support", a documentary hosted by Jaclyn Smith that describes the history of Breast Cancer Network of Strength. Good Morning Americas Robin Roberts was the key-note speaker at Breast Cancer Network of Strength's 30th Anniversary Gala in October 2008 and the Life in Balance Survivorship Conference in November 2008. == References ==

  • Breast Cancer Network of Strength official website

  • Breast Cancer Network of Strength Mother's Day Events website

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Breast Cancer Network of Strength".

Last Modified:   2010-11-25

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