A letter from our founder, Dr. Rebecca Timlin-Scalera:
“When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was told it had already spread to my bones and I was at Stage 4, metastatic breast cancer (mbc) with an average of just 3 years to live. Time stood still while I struggled to make sense of this gut-wrenching news. I remember going to bed that first night wracking my brain thinking of what I could do to save my life. I would do anything. I was 43. My kids were 7 and 10.
Weeks later, we experienced a miracle. My bone biopsy came back negative – there was no evidence of cancer in the bones. I was upgraded to Stage 3C, and told “Now we go for a cure.” Huh? What we were going for before?! Suddenly, instead of being devastated by having Stage 3C cancer, I was brought to my knees in tears of gratitude that it had not progressed to Stage 4. Thus began my education on the HUGE difference between early and late stage breast cancer, and the dire need for more funding for Stage 4, which is the basis of this foundation. I vowed then and there not to leave anyone with Stage 4 behind, and I will keep working until we ALL have a chance “to go for a cure.” Here are the facts I learned that led to the creation of The Cancer Couch:
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. 6-10 % are diagnosed at Stage 4 from the beginning (de novo), the rest are diagnosed at Stages 1-3 (early). 30% of those diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will eventually be re-diagnosed with mbc (Stage 4). There is no cure for Stage 4. People living with this will be in treatment for the rest of their shortened lives. More than 40,000 people die each year from mbc in the US alone. Very little of the funding for breast cancer research goes to studying treatment for mbc. Many “metsters” feel, due to this lack of funding and awareness about this stage of the disease, that they are being left to die. No one explains this better than Holley Kitchen in her awareness video. Holly died in January 2016.
I will never, ever forget what it felt like to have Stage 4, knowing there is no cure, and I will never leave behind those who are still living with this, or stop fighting in honor of those we’ve lost – like my beloved friend Sam Stohr, Holly Kitchen, and too many others. On April 26, 2015 we became an official 501c3 (Tax ID 81-1529788). Please support The Cancer Couch Foundation in our mission to accelerate treatment, and someday find a cure, for mbc.
The Cancer Couch Foundation is volunteer run, privately funded, and all donations are matched by the institutions we fund. Not only do 100% of donations and event proceeds go straight to the cause – your money is doubled – packing twice the punch in half the time! “