MBCA Welcomes its New Members: Collaboration, Connection & Commitment

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBCA) is excited to have welcomed a diverse group of members to its coalition since spring. As a national leader in collaborative action, the Alliance continues its mission to transform and improve the lives of people living with metastatic breast cancer. In 2023, that focus has included advancing research and making clinical trials more patient-centric, removing barriers to standard of care, and integrating quality of life services and care into all treatment planning.

NEW NONPROFIT MEMBERS

Know Your Lemons Foundation
The Know Your Lemons Foundation’s mission is to improve early detection of breast cancer worldwide through creative and empowering education through three initiatives: their early detection app, classes taught by trained volunteer educators, and their global campaign available in over 30 languages. Their vision is a world where fewer women and men are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer because they can more easily recognize and report symptoms, and when no symptoms are apparent, get screened for breast cancer. Learn more.

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Founded by and for cancer survivors, NCCS created the widely accepted definition of survivorship and defines someone as a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis and for the balance of life. NCCS’s mission is to advocate for quality cancer care for all people touched by cancer. Learn more.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation
The Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation is a credible source for triple negative breast cancer information, a catalyst for science and patient advocacy and a caring community with meaningful services for patients and their families. Learn more.

NEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

Roberta Albany
While receiving treatment for hormone receptor positive breast cancer in December 2013, Roberta noticed there was a disconnect regarding the outcomes of underrepresented communities. To be part of the solution, she became a Young Women’s Advocate via Living Beyond Breast Cancer in September 2015. Roberta works with numerous advocacy organizations, including The Chrysalis Initiative, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship to name a few. She currently serves as a patient advocate (research advocate-breast committee) for SWOG Cancer Research Network. Learn more about Roberta and what she’s working on.

Adiba Barney
Adiba, 45, survived stage 1 breast cancer twice at age 27 and 30, only to find herself diagnosed with MBC at age 37. Adiba has, to date, lived with MBC for over 8 years, and has since diagnosis been a fierce advocate for the MBC community through her volunteer work and board positions at different organizations such as Susan G. Komen and METAvivor, raising funds for MBC research and educating the public on it both in the US and Sweden. Learn more about Adiba and what she’s working on.

Amy Beumer
Amy was diagnosed with stage I breast cancer as well as extensive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in 2017 at the age of 38. After treatment she went back to her life as a newly married assistant professor, teaching biology and conducting research in microbiology and team learning. But things change, and she was diagnosed with a pleural effusion metastatic breast cancer and other distant metastases were foundin 2020. Progression on the first drug regimen was rapid, and this led to her retirement from academia and immersion into the science, advocacy, and community of MBC. Amy’s advocacy efforts have been diverse and include legislative, peer to peer support and mentoring, and of course research and education. Learn more about Amy and what she’s working on.

Laura Bowers
Laura Bowers, PhD, is a board member with the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation and has been living with metastatic breast cancer since 2018. She was an Assistant Professor with Purdue University’s Department of Nutrition Science until 2021, when she retired early due to the spread of metastases to her brain. She now seeks to make an impact on the lives of current and future breast cancer patients through research advocacy. Learn more about Laura and what she’s working on.

Elissa Chandler
Elissa has had a long career in nursing, public health, and informatics. After her metastatic triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis, Elissa became a research advocate after taking a friend’s advice to “become your own scientist.” Elissa began studying her cancer, attending research conferences, working alongside scientists in GRASP sessions, advocating through multiple MBC organizations, and mentoring individuals. Elissa looks forward to engaging with the MBC Alliance in any way she can. Learn more about Elissa and what she’s working on.

Katie Edick
Katie is a passionate breast cancer advocate with more than two decades of experience in the medical field as a pediatric occupational therapist. She has been focusing on patient advocacy for breast cancer since 2017. Katie was diagnosed with triple positive de novo metastatic breast cancer in 2016 at the age 40 during her first mammogram. Currently, she sits on two different workgroup committees in Michigan through MDHHS Program for Young Persons with Breast Cancer; is the secretary for the Michigan Breast Cancer Coalition; and is a mentor for GRASP (Guiding Researchers and Advocates to Scientific Partnerships). Her passion is to support research that is patient centered and cutting edge. Learn more about Katie and what she’s working on.

Abigail Johnston, Esq.
Abigail lives in Orlando, Florida and has been a licensed attorney since 2002. In 2017, while tandem breastfeeding her children (then 1 and 3), Abigail was diagnosed with de novo Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC). Since 2017, Abigail has focused her efforts on patient advocacy and supporting people in the MBC Community through her experience and training. Learn more about Abigail and what she’s working on.

Janie Metsker
Janie has been a breast nurse navigator since 2009, supporting and navigating patients with all stages of breast cancer. Her personal diagnosis of breast cancer in 2001 changed the trajectory of her nursing career from Labor and Delivery to breast cancer navigation. Since 2017, she has been the clinical coordinator and nurse navigator at Saint Luke’s Koontz Center for Advanced Breast Cancer in Kansas City, Missouri. The Koontz Center, launched in 2016, is dedicated solely to the treatment of people living with MBC. She leads the Koontz Center Forum, an MBC education/support group. In addition, she has been involved in numerous MBC industry-sponsored projects and focus groups. Learn more about Janie and what she’s working on.

NEW INDUSTRY MEMBERS

Merck
For more than 130 years, Merck has brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. They aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world — and today, they are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. Learn more.

Sermonix Pharmaceuticals
As a privately held company with a precision medicine focus, Sermonix brings targeted oncology products through development, approval, and commercialization. Their lead candidate is oral lasofoxifene, an investigational novel endocrine therapy in clinical development for advanced breast cancer treatment, particularly in patients with locally advanced or metastatic hormone receptor-positive (ER+)/human epidermal growth factor 2-negative (HER2-) breast cancer who have developed an ESR1 mutation. Learn more.