Champions of the Pink Vaccine
By Dr. Kathleen Teresa Ruddy
To the best of my recollection, this is how it happened.
I read about the world's first preventive breast cancer vaccine, developed by Professor Vincent Tuohy of the Cleveland Clinic in 2010. I read his paper, published in "Nature Medicine" May 2010, and called his lab to introduce myself as Founder and President of the only breast cancer foundation whose mission is primary prevention of the disease - and, so, his vaccine was like a dream come true! I left a message with Tuohy's secretary and twenty minutes later, as I was grocery shopping, he called. We talked for over an hour.
Then Toni Turchi, a breast cancer survivor who lived in Cleveland, found out about Tuohy's vaccine and started a foundation to support his work. Tuohy told Toni to get in touch with me, which she did; we talked and became friends and colleagues.
Then Elyn Jacobs, a breast cancer survivor living in New York City, found me on the Internet, contacted me through Facebook, and we met in NYC to chat. She had never heard of the breast cancer virus or Tuohy's vaccine. And so we became friends and colleagues in the fight to change the tawdry race for the cure into something more substantial - primary prevention of the disease. Elyn introducted me to Janet Hanson, who invited me to join 85 Broads - which I happily did. Thank you Elyn and Janet, and all the wonderful, wonderful women I've met through 85 Broads.
Then Judy Fitzgerald got breast cancer. Shei's a retired teacher in Rhode Island. She learned about Tuohy's vaccine, contacted Tuohy to tell him she was going to help suppport his work, and he told her to get in touch with me. Judy and I became friends and colleagues in this enlarging grassroots movement to fund Tuohy's vaccine.
Then Elyn Jacobs invited me to join her on her weekly radio show two weeks ago, and Cindy Sullivan, a breast cancer survivor living in Colorado was listening in and went berserk when she learned of Tuohy's vaccine and the total lack of funding for it. Cindy got in touch with me and suggested that this small band of women supporting Tuohy's vaccine gather together on a Skype conference call to put our heads together to what would happen, which we did this past week. Thank you Cindy, that was brilliant. So obvious, but so brilliant.
And now, three days later, we have organized ourselves to support each other's individual efforts, but with the common goal - to see that Tuohy's vaccine gets funded. And here in the United States not in China.
We've got a brand: the Pink Vaccine. It's the world's first preventive breast cancer vaccine. It doesn't need reinventing as the National Breast Cancer Coalaition would like you to think. It already exists. It's in Cleveland. It just needs to be funded to see if it's safe in women; and if safe, whether it is effective.
We've chosen a name for our group: Champions for the Pink Vaccine.
We have a domain: pinkvaccine.com
We have a Pinterest site: The Pink Vaccine.
We've got groups on Facebook and LinkedIn: The Pink Vaccine.
And we're going to create a CPU for information about the Pink Vaccine: a blog where the Champions can post and share hard facts, dispel falacies, promote awareness, and generate ideas for how to fund the Pink Vaccine - the world's first preventive breast cancer vaccine.
Stay tuned. According to complexity theory, it only takes two individuals to move a crowd in any one direction. (Did you know that? It's true.) But we have five women who intend to move the crowd toward the Pink Vaccine. Think how fast we can move it now.
Please join us. We're going to have a blast; we already have. And we're going to do great things for the world, starting with funding the world's first preventive breast cancer vaccine.
Take a break from racing. Take a peek at us. Thanks!