In December 2016, we were excited to be able to attend the 39th annual SABCS conference, now held the first full week of December, which brings together the world’s best and brightest breast cancer researchers and clinicians, to share advances in biological research and clinical care. It is an information-packed week of talks, poster sessions, meetings and, for the first time in our history, a table in the exhibitors area. We were delighted that 2 of our volunteers, Liz Tobin and Leslie Sullivan (pictured below) were able to staff the table for much of the time. Our goals for the table were to share information on IBC diagnosis, treatment and survivorship as well as highlight our solid resources they would find useful (including the app), since IBC gets little coverage in the main sessions.
We wanted to share the feedback we had from our two volunteers who attended to man our booth.
“I was very excited to be asked to attend the Symposium on behalf of The IBC Network Foundation and help with the exhibition table. Thankfully, I wasn’t expected to take part in any medical talks, which I wouldn’t stand a chance of understanding, I was there to talk to researchers and doctors about the Network and the funding they provide. Hopefully I was also able to represent all of us that have been through the nightmare of Inflammatory Breast Cancer and help raise awareness of the disease. For three days we explained how The IBC Network Foundation is aggressively funding research – over $660,000 to date.”
“I have attended a portion of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in the past. It was due to spearheading a campaign to fund TN IBC research. I along with Teresa Mills were able to present a research grant to Vanderbilt. I was very impressed and remember the researchers were very enthusiastic, and easy to talk to. The Doctors were just as impressive and very interested in discussing different issues. I remember feeling like I was hanging out with Rock Stars. This year I volunteered to help with our first ever table in the exhibit area. I was excited, but nervous. I am not a Doctor, Researcher, and I have never had cancer, but cancer has changed my life. I kept wondering what I could offer these brilliant people. Just as before, most of the people who stopped were so nice and very interested in what we do. I found it amazing, just by talking and asking questions of them we were able to start making some connections, connections not just for The IBC Network, but for a cure for IBC. Without having the table, we might not know that Ireland had a national databank for IBC samples, which can help our UK Sisters. We wouldn’t know that South America has a vast number of IBC cases. We might not have met the super enthusiastic young researcher who is interested in IBC research, and how we can help each other in finding a cure. I was able to see the enthusiasm of most of the Researchers, Doctors, Charities, and Oncologist and the beginning of a spark for cooperative research, the working TOGETHER for a common goal. Being able to be a part gives me a new fuel to know that these people do what they do because they care. Those Oncology Doctors and Radiologist now know about our phone app, and can use it to help their patients beyond just medicine and drugs. I was able to help foster this, and that in itself is priceless. Growing new lifelong friendships was the cherry on the cake and I cannot wait to do it all again next year.”
Not only did the ladies get to work the booth, they not to spend time talking to Dr. Beth Overmeyor and thank her for her passion for IBC research. Dr. Overmeyor as been recently funded by the IBC Network.