Taking Steps to End Breast Cancer
The Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research—the largest national breast cancer charity based in Los Angeles—believes that ending breast cancer lies at the intersection of research and innovative partnerships.
“We are intently focused on the cause and prevention of breast cancer by spearheading our own research led by the foundation’s Chief Visionary Officer and women’s health advocate, Dr. Susan Love,” says Christopher Clinton Conway, CEO.
For instance, the foundation launched clinical studies bringing access to health care and breast screening to underserved populations and low-to-middle-income countries using its Self-Reading Portable Ultrasound device and budding technology.
The foundation has also partnered with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to map the breast ducts, where 80% of breast cancer starts, using Automated Whole Breast 3D Ultrasound.
Additionally, the foundation’s signature program, the Army of Women, connects 390,000 women and men with and without breast cancer to participate with researchers around the world who are committed to solving important breast cancer questions.
“And we’ve challenged the scientific community to expand its focus to include breast cancer research conducted on people—not mice,” Conway says.
Philanthropy plays an essential role in creating a future without breast cancer, Conway further emphasizes.
“Investments of all sizes empower the foundation’s vision for meaningful research,” he says. “We can’t do this important work without the support of passionate community members who believe that forging unique partnerships and driving necessary research is the clearest path to ending breast cancer.”
To that end, the Walk 3to9 charity walk, founded by Thousand Oaks resident Jaki Kackert, involves many who share a common passion in the fight against breast cancer. This year’s event took place on September 15 at the Kenneth Hahn State Recreational Area and included 3-, 6- and 9-mile walks in which walkers, survivors and volunteers from throughout Southern California came together to raise funds and awareness to benefit the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
Kackert designated the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation as this year’s beneficiary because it’s dedicated to achieving a future without breast cancer by engaging the public and scientific communities in innovative research on cause and prevention. Additionally, she said the foundation is highly respected worldwide and receives four out of four stars on Charity Navigator, the highest rating awarded.
To support the foundation, Walk3to9 participants were asked to fundraise $369 each, with a desired total event goal of $125,000.
The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation “does amazing things,” Kackert says. “What we love about (the foundation) is that very little of their money goes to operation expenses. The foundation has high integrity and you can see where the money goes. It was important that we chose a foundation we could trust that’s highly respected—it was even better when we got to meet with Susan Love.”
Dr. Love’s reputation as an activist stems from her role as one of the “founding mothers” of the breast cancer advocacy movement in the early 1990s, when she was one of the founders of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. President Clinton appointed her to the National Cancer Advisory Board, on which she served from 1998 to 2004, and she also started the first all-women breast center in Boston before developing a model for multidisciplinary breast care at the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center.
Known as a trusted guide to women worldwide through her books and the foundation website, Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book was termed “the bible for women with breast cancer” by The New York Times. Dr. Susan Love’s Menopause and Hormone Book, first published in 1998 and revised in 2003, was one of the first to sound the alarm against the long-term use of postmenopausal hormones. Her other book, Live a Little, encourages women to take a reasonable approach to becoming healthy. The sixth edition of Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book was released in September 2015 along with a Spanish translation, El Libro de la Mama.
In June 2012, Dr. Love was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. She returned to work in January 2013, more determined than ever to find the cause of cancer and end it once and for all.