LBBC Awards First Ever Hear My Voice Awards on October 7
Sheila McGlown and Beth Caldwell to receive first ever Hear My Voice Awards for their work to change the conversation about Metastatic Breast Cancer
Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), the national information and support organization, will recognize two women for their work to educate the public about metastatic breast cancer while living with and supporting others with this diagnosis. The first ever Hear My Voice Awards will be presented at the annual Living Beyond Breast Cancer Fall Conference Sharing Wisdom Sharing Strength held this year in Memphis, TN Oct. 6-8, 2017.
The awardees, Sheila McGlown, of Swansea, IL and Beth Caldwell, of Seattle, WA, are both alumni of LBBC’s Leadership Volunteer programs. McGlown completed LBBC’s Young Advocate Training in 2013 and Caldwell completed the Hear My Voice Metastatic Outreach Volunteer Program in 2015.
Both award recipients were diagnosed from the start with metastatic, or stage IV, breast cancer, meaning the cancer spread beyond the breast to distant areas of the body such as the bones, liver, lungs and brain. Such cancers are treatable but not curable. McGlown, who was diagnosed in 2009, had to take an early medical retirement as a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force. Caldwell’s 2014 diagnosis caused her to retire early from her position as a civil rights attorney.
Upon her retirement, McGlown lost no time in becoming an active volunteer, educating people about metastatic breast cancer with particular attention to African American women. An active volunteer with LBBC, McGlown has also served as a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer program, and has volunteered for other breast cancer organizations dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer through research. She is a frequent speaker, a woman of faith and remains an active volunteer with Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
While attending the first-ever Hear My Voice Outreach training in April 2015, Caldwell and fellow trainee Jennie Grimes, of Los Angeles, wanted to take action even before they completed the training and returned to their homes. They organized a “Die In” demonstration to provide a shocking visual to illustrate that 110 people in the United States die every day of metastatic breast cancer. This action led Caldwell and Grimes to found a nonprofit organization called METUP, which is committed to changing the landscape of metastatic cancer through direct action.
“Both Sheila and Beth have worked to change the conversation about metastatic breast cancer,” said Jean Sachs, CEO of Living Beyond Breast Cancer. “They have used their incredible talents to work tirelessly in very different ways for change. Each in her own way has united others, served as a role model and connected people who also felt isolated and apart. Individually and together they have built bridges and understanding about this disease.” Caldwell and McGlown’s nominations were among many received by LBBC. To be eligible for this award, nominees had to be an alumni of LBBC’s Young Advocate or Hear My Voice Outreach Volunteer Programs and living with metastatic breast cancer. The awardees were selected for the impact of their volunteer work on the breast cancer community and on individuals and families impacted by Stage IV breast cancer.
In 2006, Living Beyond Breast Cancer conducted the first-ever needs assessment of people living with metastatic breast cancer and discovered that this population felt isolated from the early stage breast cancer community, poorly served by the medical and nonprofit communities, and misunderstood by the general public. In response, LBBC created a separate annual spring conference to focus on the specific needs of people living with MBC, and established a track within the annual fall conference featuring subjects relevant to this segment.