Why we Educate!

“Will there ever be a cure for cancer?” “Can pets get cancer?” “Can the body find and kill cancer cells?” “Do cancer screenings cost money?” “What are the most common symptoms of cancer?” “Can males get breast cancer?” “What is the most common cancer?” Young people have lots of questions about cancer. And it’s no wonder; in the US, almost 40% of the population will have the disease at some point in their lifetime*, so it’s unfortunately very common and most teens and preteens know someone who has been diagnosed with it. They know it’s dangerous, but to most of them, it’s an older person’s disease that’s shrouded in mystery. And they’re curious. “Why can skin cancer be deadly?” “Why does cancer treatment make your hair fall out?” So, it’s a fantastic time to open a dialog with them about cancer and this is just what we do with our classroom presentations; we start by shedding some light on what cancer is, how it progresses, and why it can be so dangerous. We talk about why it is important to catch cancer before it spreads, how we can detect it early on, and some of the ways that cancer is treated. And then we talk about what choices we can make to reduce our risk of ever having to hear the words, “You have cancer”. See, many of the reasons we get cancer are the result of maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle, and we develop the habits that literally shape our risk of getting cancer when we are still fairly young. And we all know that the longer we live with destructive habits, the harder they are to change, so the best strategy for developing healthy habits is to break away from unhealthy ones early or to never develop them to begin with! So educating people when they are school-age offers them an excellent chance at keeping their lifetime cancer risk down. At BCFF, we help students understand what statistics say our lifetime risk is for developing cancer and how their lifestyle choices can affect that risk. We help them see why keeping their bodies in excellent health is so important and just what habits to avoid to keep their cancer risk as low as possible. And you know what else is great about educating teens and preteens? They can be wonderful communicators and when they learn something that inspires them, they will tell just about anyone who will listen! Many of the students who hear our presentation take what they learn and will not only apply it to their own lives, but will share it with their families and friends, too. “Hey, Dad, did you know that not exercising increases your cancer risk? Let’s go take a walk!” “Um, Mom, did you go get your mammogram yet?” They help spread our cancer-fighting impact well beyond the classroom! For these reasons and more, educating the youth in our community about cancer and cancer prevention is one excellent way to fight this devastating disease! End it with education!!

Meet our New Executive Director

Breast Cancer Family Foundation (BCFF), a local non-profit organization providing educational presentations on cancer awareness and prevention, is pleased to announce the appointment of Diane Gaywont as Executive Director.

“I am honored and thrilled to be taking on the leadership role of BCFF’s Executive Director.” said Gaywont. “My previous roles have supported and challenged me to be the person and leader I am today. I feel my career history, growth, and development—both personally and professionally—have been preparing me for this opportunity. I am looking forward to building onto the already great foundation that’s been established as we continue to be the top provider of cancer prevention education in the state of Wisconsin.”

Diane brings more than 10 years of leadership and project management experience and a passion for promoting health and wellness to BCFF. Prior to becoming Executive Director of BCFF, Gaywont held positions both in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, most recently as the Director of Operations at myTEAM TRIUMPH. Gaywont assumes the position with BCFF with valuable experience in leadership, organizational structure, marketing, community outreach, fundraising, and communication skills.

“It is with great pleasure that the Board of Directors of the BCFF welcomes and introduces Diane Gaywont on as the new Executive Director of the BCFF,” said Dr. Ed Lin, President of BCFF’s Board of Directors. “The Board of the BCFF feels very fortunate to be able to bring on an Executive Director with Diane’s knowledge and experience from the non-profit sector. In addition, her strong leadership and organizational skills and, most importantly, her passion to want to help others will be a great addition to help the BCFF continue to move forward with the goal of educating the children in our communities to live a healthy and cancer-free lifestyles.”

Gaywont graduated from St. Norbert College with a B.A in Psychology and Sociology. She has a strong commitment to her community and passion for volunteerism. Diane resides in Green Bay with her husband, Shawn, and two children, Ayden and Madison.

Spring is Here!

Spring is here which means warmer weather is right around the corner!  Here at BCFF we are looking forward getting outside and soaking up some vitamin D!

Spring is a great time of year to have fresh starts and new beginnings, especially in relationship to our lifestyle choices. How does changing habits like diet and exercise affect your risk for cancer? Much more than you might think. Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are 2 key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk. The good news is that you do something about this.  TODAY is a great day to be the change you hope to see not only in yourself, but your family members and friends.

As you begin the month of April we encourage you to seek out community events that help you reach your goals!  Titletown Bike Tour is a great place to start as we offer distances from a family friendly 15K all the way up to a full century ride!  If bike riding is not for you, consider joining us in October for our 10th annual Pink Pumpkin Walk!  This is an event that brings our mission to life in a way that you have never seen before.  From survivor stories to the pumpkin patch, there is something for everyone to enjoy! No matter what goals you choose, make sure to share your goals with friends and family to help keep you accountable.  Having a positive support system is key to making lifestyle changes!

Together, we got this!