Grass Roots Efforts to Fund Breast Cancer Vaccine Moves Forward

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2012 at 12:18 am

This week I had the pleasure of traveling to the Cleveland Clinic to meet Professor Vincent Tuohy and to see him accept the Mort and Iris November Distinguished Chair in Innovative Breast Cancer Research, made possible by the $1 million endowment given by the Novembers.  I am so grateful to have met this lovely couple; their vision and passion for seeing this vaccine come to fruition warms my heart in so many ways. I am so grateful to have finally met Dr Tuohy and his amazing team of researchers.  They have big plans; the vaccine for breast cancer, yes, but also ovarian and prostate.  I was also grateful to have met up with Judy Fitzgerald, Toni Turchi and so many others who are collaboratively making a breast cancer vaccine a reality, not just a vision or shelf ornament.  The room was filled with passionate people; a group united by the desire to prevent breast cancer.  Professor Tuohy humbly credited the many players in this collaborative grass roots effort. 

Breast cancer vaccine researcher Vincent Tuohy gets $1 million gift for endowed chair at Cleveland Clinic

The support of the Novembers is huge, as sadly, it takes much money to get to and through the trial stage, and funding has been hard to come by.  Therefore, our grass roots efforts won’t end here; we will continue and intensify our efforts, one dollar at a time.  I’d like to share a few notable examples.

 Fellow survivor and Pink Champion Judy Fitzgerald works tirelessly at raising funds for the vaccine through book sales, product sales, and so much more.  Please know that 100% of profits and donations go directly to the funding of the vaccine. Her website, Sisters4Prevention says it all. Judy has also enlisted others in her efforts and was able to present Dr Tuohy with a check for $1500 for funds raised by her sister, Pat Murray, and the faculty and students of Gold Hill Middle School.  This money was raised during the month of October by students and faculty by selling bracelets, wear pink days, and filling “pink piggy banks” painted by Pat with “Pennies for Prevention”.  I’d like to share a quote from Judy:

     “On my connecting flight home from Cleveland yesterday, my Southwest flight was unusually crowded due to the Thanksgiving holiday next week.  In lieu of my usual aisle seat, I opted for a window, something I haven’t done in years.  When we were approaching Providence, I found myself looking out the window in awe.  How unthinkable would it have been for our forefathers to even imagine that one day it would be possible to travel thousands of miles in the air in a metal tube with seats?  Had it not been for courageous scientists who refused to be told that their “outside the box” ideas could not be possible, I would have been traveling from Cleveland by horse and buggy.

Dr. Tuohy’s preventive vaccine for breast cancer is a first.  The difficult journey he has faced in converting the opposition of unbelievers has been a long one, but like other great and “unimaginable” ideas this road had to be conquered.  We have this vaccine which prevents breast cancer 100% in mice.  It has had 8 years of animal testing.  What now works in humans, first worked in mice.  We are getting so close…we MUST test it.  Why wouldn’t we test it?  We NEED to test it.  The unbelievers are converting…the history books will have one more great moment to report.  Just like the day Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, there will be a day when we can say…it’s time.  Dr. Tuohy, take your vaccine off the shelf in your lab, well done good and faithful servant…you’re going to clinical trials!”

Survivor and champion Toni Turchi is the Founder and President of the Toni Turchi Foundation and has joined forces with Dr. Tuohy to support his work. Toni set up her foundation solely for the purpose of finding prevention for breast cancer.   Her mission is devoted to raising funds in support of scientific methods proven to prevent and one day eradicate the disease of breast cancer.  In her mind, if they can find a vaccine for the 1950’s polio epidemic, they why can’t we put a stop to this horrific disease?

Dr Kathleen Ruddy created the Breast Health & Healing Foundation whose mission is to discover the causes of breast cancer and to use that knowledge to prevent the disease. Kathleen has been in the forefront of educating the world on prevention and the viability of the vaccine and has toiled endlessly to finance this vaccine. She has done years of research on the Pink Virus, the suspected of causing some breast cancers and has been a supporter of Dr. Tuohy’s work since she learned of it in 2010.

Cindy Sullivan is the brilliant survivor who has had one heck of time with breast cancer but gets all the credit for banding us together; she makes things happen.  Cindy created the pink vaccine website and Facebook page and maintains these faithfully.  She also tirelessly writes letters in support of the vaccine. Cindy and Kathleen were greatly missed in Cleveland, but were there in our hearts as we witnessed the coming together of a room full of strangers who share a common link to cancer and a dedication to see that others don’t have to take that path.  None of us left that room as strangers.

There are many, many other individuals and small businesses that are determined to see this vaccine get in the hands of doctors. Survivor and author Tami Boehmer got involved.  She had been nominated by Kids ll as one of eight Pink Power Moms and was given $5,000 to the charity of her choice. She picked Tuohy’s vaccine because she thought it would be amazing if her daughter never had to worry about getting this disease.

While I can’t list them all, one more to mention is Don Ballard.  Don, owner of Master Mechanic Diagnostics and Repair and who lost his mother to breast cancer when he was only twelve years old, started his own grass roots effort with Breaks for Breasts.  In 2011, Brakes for Breasts donated $10,000. This year, 20 auto repair shops in 16 states are participating.

“Here’s how Brakes for Breasts works. Our clients receive free brake pads or shoes and they pay for the labor and any other necessary parts to complete the brake job,” said Best. “The shop donates 10 percent of those funds to Cleveland Clinic’s Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund. Our vendor provides the pads and shoes to us at no charge and that’s their contribution. The best part is that 100 percent of the funds go directly to research for the breast cancer vaccine.”  Read more.

I know that there is concern out there about vaccines.  I know that we are capable of preventing many cancers with lifestyle efforts.  However, I know that we need more to prevent cancer and that we must try this vaccine to see if it is safe and effective.  It may not help me, it may not help you, but it may just mean a better future for the next generation.  Healthcare costs are staggering and rising, and our quality of care will be dropping.  Just this week I received and email from a patient in London. She commented that the lack of options and surgical skills available severely limit her ability to make the best choices for her, for her cancer. We have the skills here in the US, but will we be able to afford the options; that is the question. Cancer is a terrible disease; the treatment grueling and not terribly effective. Children lose parents at a young age, parents lose children. Right now we cannot stop this disease and we cannot afford to have it occur.

Become a supporter via the links above or direct to the Cleveland Clinic.




Facebook @Elyn Jacobs Consulting

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Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn is on the peer review board of the Natural Standard Database. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. Elyn lives in New York with her husband and two young boys.

  1. Thanks for keeping us up to date on this exciting news about a breast cancer vaccine. Wow, the vaccine works 100 percent of the time in mice. A pity there are still some with limited else to offer who would question moving forward. I so hope this materializes and I wasn’t aware it may very well work against ovarian and prostate too. So let’s hope …

  2. If only…. We all pray this vaccine is the one. Thank you for updating us.

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