Being a Breast Cancer Advocate: Not So Easy!

At the opening plenary session Sunday morning, NBCCF President Fran Visco brought the Advocacy Training Conference to its feet with her call to think and embrace the revolution we need to end breast cancer. “Not so easy” was her refrain. Fran reviewed the history of NBCC’s unique advocacy approach – and the results achieved.

It is not enough to advocate for more research money without asking, “How much is enough? What’s the right amount?” NBCC did that. It’s not enough to provide free screening to uninsured women, without finding a way to change the system to provide treatment coverage for all women in need. NBCC did that. It’s not enough to provide access to health care for all, without asking the question, “Access to what?” The care people receive must be quality care – not so easy to think and figure out, “What is quality care?” NBCC is doing that.

Fran challenged the audience not to wait until the political parties get around to their version of health care reform, but rather to do the hard work of thinking it through and getting it done. She cited a list of advocate leaders who paved the way for this work, helped us think through the hard questions – many of them no longer with us. It is because of them that we are here and that we continue the work they began.

Fran concluded by saying, “I am proud that NBCC is often called controversial, I am proud that we think and we think what’s the right thing to do, and then we do it. I am proud that we are a revolution. Think, then do and this is a revolution…this is the National Breast Cancer Coalition, and I welcome you to be part of it.”

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