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Young Survivors Conference

March 2, 2007
by Vicki Tashman

    I recently returned from the Young Survivor's Conference in Washington, D.C. This conference is held annually by Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) and the Young Survival Coalition. Anyone diagnosed under the age of 45 and their caregivers were eligible to attend. What a fantastic conference! The energy in the air was electrifying!
 
 
    Pink-Link had a booth at the show where we gave away 2 raffle baskets. The first basket was donated by Dermalogica and was worth $290.Our lucky winner was Samantha Ainuddin from Lakewood, Ohio. She is a breast cancer survivor and was first diagnosed at the age of 25 with DCIS in 1997.

She underwent a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. They took 13 nodes and all were negative and her reconstruction was a FREE TRAM flap which takes minimal abdominal tissue, soon after the DIEP TRAM was developed. Eight years later, in 2005, she was diagnosed again with DCIS in my remaining breast.

The second basket was donated by Momware (lots of fun products for moms) and was worth $60. Our lucky winner was Carolyne Williams from  Springfield, Virginia. She was diagnosed this past January with a very rare form of breast cancer, Phyllodes tumor. You'll be able to read her story in the April newsletter.
 
  
   In walking around the exhibit hall, I noticed some new products and ideas that I want to tell you about. Of course, there's my favortie pink ribbon merchandise lady, Courtney Zinszer from Pink Wings, who sells anything and everything pink ribbon. She told me that when Pink-Link is mentioned when placing your order, she will donate 10% to our organization! How's that for shopping and fundraising!
 
   I met Robin Miller from LympheDIVAs who has designed beautiful sleeves to help alleviate the symptoms of lymphedema. Definitely check out their website for great colors and designs that make this sleeve fashionable.
 
   Ann Fonfa from The Annie Appleseed Project was exhibiting and educating the attendees about nutrition and natural therapies for cancer patients. Her website provides information, education and advocacy regarding dietary supplements, detoxification and exercise for better health.
 
   Joan Leanos and Peg Feodoroff are known as the Spirited Sisters. They came up with a MUCH better examination gown than the paper ones you find in most doctor's offices. It's called "Healing Threads" and they sell directly to the consumer as well as doctors and hospitals. Check out their website at http://www.spirited-sisters.com/.
 
   Sue Friedman from FORCE (Facing our Rick of Cancer Empowered) displayed information about the genetic risk of cancer. She holds an annual conference in Florida which provides education and information about the genetics concerning breast and ovarian cancers. Visit Facing Our Risk for more info.
 
   Pink-Link member, Cate Stasio was so inspired to change the world after her own breast cancer treatment ended, that she conviced PositScience to hire her! She is conducting an informal research project about chemotherapy and chemo brain. PositScience, located in San Francisco, helps restore brain function that may have been lost due to age, illness and treatments. They call it their "Brain Fitness program."
 
   And finally, everyone was "swishing!" Intergenetics, a company based in Oklahoma, is conducting clinical trials to find more genetic links to breast cancer. Their website states, "Because all cancer has some genetic basis for development, focusing on the genetic basis of this disease allows one to find gene combinations that are predictive of developing cancer." They have a simple test called the OncoVue Breast Cancer Risk Test, where the participant "swishes" some mouthwash and deposits it back into the container. Cells in the fluid from the woman's cheeks contain her DNA and in the laboratory that DNA is extracted and analyzed using thousands of proprietary combinations of multiple genes discovered by InterGenetics scientists. For the majority of women, these gene combinations are the most accurate indicators of breast cancer risk.
 
    Next year's conference will be in Jacksonville, Florida and I hope to see you there! 


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