This holiday season, the Brem Foundation is celebrating #ThoseWhoGive

As the holidays approach, we at the Brem Foundation honor all of the different types of givers out there whose support saves lives. No two givers are alike - everyone has their own unique giving story.

#StudentsWhoGive

#RunnersWhoGive

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Kim

Why do you give?

I give to the Brem Foundation because of all the inspiring work that Dr. Brem and Andrea do everyday. They both empower women everywhere to be their own best advocate.

Why is giving back as a student particularly special?

As a college student, I know I can’t give big donations but I can donate my time. I know when I volunteer at the Brem Foundation, I am helping local DC women, and that makes all the hardwork more worthwhile.

#SurvivorsWhoGive

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Cathy

Why do you give?

I give because it’s not just the right thing to do on a moral level, it’s been personal. I have always supported causes that are aimed at helping those in need by volunteering my time, and when possible, through fundraising. I’ve spent most of my life supporting good causes, first as a teen volunteer for Special Olympics, then as a volunteer and donor for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation when my 8-month niece was diagnosed 35 years ago. Then cancer took hold on my immediate family when my 35 year old sister was diagnosed with Stage IV Inflammatory Breast Cancer, followed a year later by my mother’s diagnosis of lymphoma and bladder cancer.

Five years after their deaths, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer and just a few years after that, my brother was diagnosed with smoldering Multiple Myeloma. So I’ve spent the last 15 years supporting and volunteering at cancer awareness events and raising money for cancer research and services. 

Why is giving back as a survivor particularly special? 

Because I survived while others don’t. I’m extremely grateful to be alive. I have had access to great medical care including the tests needed to detect my cancer early enough to give me a chance for a long life. Others don’t have those same benefits. I feel like sharing my journey of how I got through the bureaucracy to receive early testing and how I dealt with decisions regarding treatment options and side effects might help others just starting their journey towards survivorship. 

Why is the Brem Foundation your giving priority?

Supporting the Brem Foundation will always be a priority for me because I am alive today because of the Brem Foundation and Dr. Brem. It was through information I heard, and advice I received at a Brem Foundation Breast Cancer Awareness event that led me to press my doctors for additional tests that eventually found my cancer. At the event, Dr. Brem talked about the need for MRI screening if a woman has dense breast tissue. I had never heard that having dense tissue could mask cancer masses on a mammogram.

During the Q&A, I told Dr. Brem about my family history of breast cancer and asked her if I should have an MRI.  Dr. Brem gave me advice that turned out to be life saving. She said, “it’s not should you get one, you must get one.”

When I told Dr. Brem that I didn’t think my health insurance would pay for an MRI, she told me to fight for it but if I still could not get approved for an MRI, the Brem Foundation would cover the cost.  The following week I received a negative mammogram and requested a baseline MRI. Having the foundation's offer as a backup gave me strength to push for the test.

Two months later I received a call that the MRI detected something on my chest wall. A few days after a surgical biopsy, the surgeon called with news that I had a breast cancer. And she added, "thank God you pushed for the MRI, because it’s a very aggressive Triple Negative Breast Cancer and it would take about two years for it to show up on a mammogram if it ever showed up at all." She finished that call with saying that I sadly would not likely have survived long enough for a mammogram to find it.  

My family and I will be forever grateful to the Brem Foundation and I feel honored to give back to the Foundation in any way I can.

 

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Amanda

Why do you give?

When I learned I was BRCA positive, I was lucky to have access to extraordinary physical and emotional support. Many women are not this lucky. I give to help women get the education, testing and if needed best care possible to save their lives from Breast Cancer. 

Why is giving back as a runner particularly special?

I have always wanted to train and run a half marathon. Now that I am healthy, it is the perfect time to push and challenge myself.  My race is not just an opportunity to benefit myself and the Brem Foundation. Friends and Family are donating and get to be a part of this important milestone in my life.

Why is the Brem Foundation your giving priority? 

I have been personally touched by the knowledge and guidance of both Andrea and Dr. Rachel Brem. They have a great passion for the mission of the Brem Foundation and I want to give back to help them reach as many women as possible. Early detection and access to the proper resources truly does save lives. 

Want to share your giving story or nominate someone in your life who gives? Fill out the form below:

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