A Message from Evelyn Lauder, Founder and Chairman
In these times of economic challenges, stories about good fortune are not told as often, so here is my story about good fortune.
Almost 20 years ago, even though the women's equality movement in America had achieved so much and, even though my friends and I were successful in business in addition to having wonderful family lives, there was an issue of great significance to women that demanded a special focus. That topic was breast cancer. For women of my generation, we had inherited from our mothers and grandmothers the stigma of silence associated with such a disease. We grew up hearing the hushed voices, seeing the worried looks-but not always learning the facts. Over time we heard more about "women's health," but speaking out about breast cancer, whether you had it or knew someone who had it, was rare. Cancer was still "the C-word." The stigma and the poor prognosis motivated me to do something meaningful to improve women's lives. Let's face it, if a woman dies of breast cancer, it is not only a tragedy for her, but for all the people who know, love and depend on her...as a mother, a friend, a spouse, a boss, a sister, a daughter, or a teacher.
Somebody needed to do something. In a very short time, and with the support of my family and friends, in 1993 I had the organization in place to put funds for breast cancer research directly into the hands of scientists and physicians. No bureaucracy. Very low administrative costs. And with the incredible oversight of a stellar group of scientists led from the start by Dr. Larry Norton. We have raised over $250 million since our humble beginning. My, how we have grown! The acceleration of knowledge about the basic science of breast cancer - what it is and how we can fix it, literally opened up a new era of public life and dialogue about breast cancer. Women do not have to hide this disease anymore, and more importantly, so many women can and do survive breast cancer - every day. This is the very best kind of good fortune. None of this would have been possible without you.
Please continue to support BCRF as best you can. Together we can write the final chapter: a world without breast cancer.
Evelyn H. Lauder