I am writing to thank all of you who have been supportive of the IBC Network Foundation since it started down the path of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) advocacy. We have come a long way in just a few years. In our early days, it was hard not to be discouraged. I was often met with blank stares and confusion at the mention of IBC because many felt like breast cancer was “under control” or I heard “Oh, IBC, there is not much hope there.” My desire to help fund research was an overwhelming need, pressed into every fiber of my being. Researchers I met were interested in discovering what drives IBC to behave so aggressively, but the lack of funding was an issue preventing serious progress. Couple this with little to no IBC education in medical schools, and the challenges appeared insurmountable. Little by little, we have become the leading charity focused on IBC, and are well-respected throughout the research community as a reliable source of funding and advocacy supporting the cause.
Since those days, the foundation has funded with your help, over one million dollars into research at MD Anderson, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Duke Cancer Institute and the University of Delaware. We have a sister charity funding IBC research in the United Kingdom.
We have marked some important milestones regarding IBC. We successfully lobbied to have the first IBC session presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. We have written the first “mobile app” for IBC education. We underwrote the first Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit written for physicians as well as nurses to learn about IBC. Best Practice for Inflammatory Breast Cancer was written especially to be helpful to medical personnel that a patient with symptoms might go to first, like a family doctor, a dermatologist, OB/GYN, or even an ER doctor. This CME is being offered at no charge.
We all have a reason, a “why” that makes us care. So, I want you to know we are not resting on our laurels. We have only just begun tackling the challenge of curing IBC and have some ambitious goals that we would appreciate your financial support to accomplish. Together I want to see the IBC Network Foundation grow so we can be a sustainable support base for IBC research around the country. Our overarching goal is to fund innovative and impactful research that will once and for all stop this cancer in it tracks forever. Thank you for supporting us in the past and we hope you will continue to be part of our future.