20 Years of Mission Impact!

Everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer, and with each person’s experience there is a story.  Our hope is that it is a story of triumph, but we also know that is not always the case.  In either scenario, we can all agree that cancer takes the lives of TOO many people each year.  

There is hope.  Applying proven prevention and early detection strategies could prevent nearly half of all cancer deaths.  At the Breast Cancer Family Foundation, we are committed to educating our community on prevention choices that we can do now to lower our risk of cancer.  Although there is not a sure way to prevent cancer, by changing habits that are under our control, we can position ourselves to fight cancer should we ever hear those words.

In January 2019 it was announced that cancer deaths are down by 25% in the United States.  {WOW!} This is an incredible statistic and is a result of multiple factors such as the decrease in tobacco smoking, early detection and treatment, and overall awareness around being body aware.  Yes, we are making a difference!

So how did we get here?

Kris Labutzke founded the Breast Cancer Family Foundation (BCFF) in 1999 after being touched by cancer not only as a survivor, but also as a caregiver. She created the foundation with an initial focus on helping women, families, caregivers, and survivors of breast cancer.   It was from this vision and 20 years of community involvement that the Breast Cancer Family Foundation has evolved into what it is today!

  • 1999 Breast Cancer Family Foundation was formed
  • 2001 BCFF added a school-based program to educate middle school and high school students about cancer prevention.  Although not known at the time, this would later become the focus and a foundational aspect of the organization.  EDUCATION!
  • 2007 Dr. Lora Warner of Planning and Evaluation Associated conducted a community study and confirmed that BCFF was the only provider of school-based education programs on cancer.  She is quoted by saying that “this is a distinct area of strength for the Breast Cancer Family Foundation and a strong contribution to the community.”
  • 2008 BCFF hosted their first annual Pink Pumpkin Run as a way to honor Breast Cancer Survivors and to raise funds for their programs.
  • 2014 BCFF expanded their school-based programing to Central Wisconsin through the support of Team Schierl Companies.
  • 2019 BCFF will be implementing their very first elementary grade school programing to help strengthen the foundation for our youth around how to lead a cancer-free healthy lifestyle!

To date, over 113,000 students have heard our mission in the classroom!  This is a number that at one point was simply a dream.  But, as of the end of the recent school year, it has been a dream come TRUE.  Every time we enter a classroom we have an opportunity to make a difference in their lives.

We cannot always measure habit changes.

But we can see the impact on their faces.

When we hear from a mother whose cancer was caught early because of our card with screening information that went home… WE ARE MAKING AN IMPACT!

When we tell a child that they can hug their grandma who has cancer because it’s not contagious… WE ARE MAKING AN IMPACT!

When we share stories about early detection and simple ways our youth can lead cancer-free lifestyles… WE ARE MAKING AN IMPACT!

As we come to the close of our birthday month, I want to leave you with a call to action to JOIN US!  Join us in this fight against cancer.  We CAN make a difference and we CAN impact the ending to the story of cancer.

How can I get involved?

  • SUPPORT our education programing by becoming a monthly or one time donor. 
  • VOLUNTEER at one of our events.  We are always looking for volunteers to help support our fundraising events in the community.  We know that your time is valuable and we are always honored when you choose to spend it with us!  From Titletown Bike Tour in July to our multiple Pink Pumpkin Runs in October, there is something for everyone to get involved!
  • CPE (Cancer Prevention Education) AMBASSADORS of our mission are key to spreading awareness of our foundation.  Being a CPE Ambassador means being a mission sharing community member around cancer awareness and education.  This may be someone who helps connect us to resources or someone who has been invited to join our Board of Directors. 

No matter where you are in life, there is a way to be a part of our movement in the community.  We know that cancer is not easy, and neither is our fight.  More than ever before, our youth is craving a new kind healthy and it does not include cancer.  Together, with your help, we can help make this happen!

We’ve accomplished a lot in 20 years.  I cannot wait to see what the next 20 years brings!  Happy Birthday BCFF!

To learn more about our mission and ways to get involved, visit www.bcff.org

~Diane Gaywont | Executive Director