One of the great things about writing is that I learn so much from my readers. Recently, I received an email from one of our gentle readers asking me to check out the Army of Women (www.armyofwomen.org). Immediately, a vision of “Rosie the Riveter” arose in my mind with the famous “We Can Do It” slogan in the background.
(See http://rosietheriveter.org) For those of you too young to remember, Rosie was the symbol of the new army of women who entered the workforce for the first time after the United States entered WW II. While the men were away serving their country, these pioneering women took over many jobs traditionally held by men. Needless to say, this was a not only a turning point in the war effort but for women and their roles in the workforce as well!
In many ways, this new Army of Women is just as pioneering in the field of breast cancer research as Rosie’s of the past. The Army of Women is a non-profit partnership between the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation for Women. Their mission is quite simple – “eradicate breast cancer and improve the quality of women’s health through innovative research, education, and advocacy.” How are they going to accomplish this? By raising an army of women, a million strong, who want to work for a cure for breast cancer and who will volunteer to participate in research studies. Consider this the million woman march on breast cancer!
According to the AOW website, one of the needs that had been identified by researchers as impeding their progress in finding a cure or prevention for breast cancer is that they are frequently unable to find volunteers to participant in the research studies. This program is unique in that it works to partner women directly with the scientists who are conducting the research. Since every study is different, the AOW is working to recruit women from all walks of life, shapes and sizes, ages and ethnicities. Unlike many other studies, you do not have to have breast cancer or be at risk for breast cancer in order to join. In fact, healthy women are encouraged to participate.
Joining the AOW is fairly simple.