Turning the page to a New Year

LBBC Viewpoints
January 8, 2021
Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP

Like many of you, I have spent the last few months eager to turn the page to a new year. 2020 was a year unlike any other. As I reflect on what we’ve experienced in the world and at Living Beyond Breast Cancer, I feel grateful – for opportunities to help, and for the many moments I witnessed the strength and resilience of our entire breast cancer community.

As our medical advisory board member Dr. Monique Gary often says, “Breast cancer doesn’t quarantine.” While I wish we had never experienced this worldwide crisis, the Living Beyond Breast Cancer community helped many throughout this difficult year. Facing a cancer diagnosis is difficult at any time. Facing a cancer diagnosis during the COVID-19 pandemic is entirely different.

My gratefulness extends to many others who made Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s 2020 work possible. I am thankful to our healthcare professionals, who answered your questions and provided us with guidance and support. Many thanks to our donors and supporters for trusting our instincts to pivot programs and services to meet unprecedented new needs. And thank you to our board of directors and staff for showing creativity and ingenuity in a changing world.

So what does the future hold? In 2021, Living Beyond Breast Cancer marks our 30th anniversary. It is a milestone that both humbles and energizes me. When we were founded in the early 1990s, it was a struggle just to get people to publicly use the term “breast cancer.” There were few support groups and no online communities, and too many suffered in silence. Today, due to our efforts and those of advocates all over the world, there are multiple ways to access information, support, and community, as well as many people ready to help others. Yet our challenges remain significant. Too many still die of breast cancer and suffer side effects that impact daily life. And access to care is not equitable for the most vulnerable among us. The services and perspective of Living Beyond Breast Cancer are more relevant than ever as we work toward health equity for all people coping with the disease.

In the coming months, Living Beyond Breast Cancer will honor what we’ve achieved while charting our future course, focusing on ways we will pursue change alongside the diverse community we serve. While we are excited to mark our accomplishments, our motivation remains rooted in the many things we have left to do. Look for more information soon. I hope you will join us at an upcoming event, in a volunteer program, in one of our online groups, on social media, or as a donor or supporter, to finally make our vision a reality: of a world where no one impacted by breast cancer feels uninformed or alone.

Stay safe, stay strong, and stay positive.

Happy New Year,