After thirty-five years as a reporter/freelance photojournalist, I thought I could relax into retirement and write whatever I felt would be worthy of a read by anyone. But on September 15, 2003 my thirty-seven year old daughter called me one evening and said, "Mom, I have breast cancer. But not the garden variety. I have the kind that is probably going to kill me." Almost four years to that date, on August 29th 2007, my beautiful daughter Tina took her last breath.
Tina had said to me, that terribly scary night in 2003, "Mom, if you never write another word, you HAVE to write about Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Nobody knows about it." And at that time she was correct, much to my amazement. So my life took a new course, one which I continue today. Trying to make not only the public but the medical community aware of IBC. Through any medium of writing or talking to groups, my life as the person 'behind' the camera has changed 100%.
I never knew I had a 'voice' other than the 'pen'.
A group of us joined together in May of 2007 to create an organization devoted entirely to education regarding IBC, and at this writing we have accomplished quite a bit, I feel. There is a resolution in Congress directed at the lack of education regarding IBC; many States have a week or a total month in October they have designated as IBC Awareness; we have a monthly internet radio show the last Wednesday of the month; and our website is gaining in popularity as we are constantly trying to make sure it is up to date with news and information which can help women (and yes men) and their families, make better decisions about their own circumstances, as they relate to IBC. Our Medical Advisors are the top in the field of IBC and we feel very fortunate they too believe in our mission of education.