I learned about BCAction through my vibrant mom Barbara Garlock, a lifelong leader for health access, and a talented justice advocate who faced stage IV breast cancer pretty miraculously for almost 7 years, before passing on in 2013. I want the things that helped her — including patient advocacy, expansion beyond “pink” consumer-philanthropy, and anti-toxicity activism aligned with BCAction’s priorities — to tangibly help other women and their families who face breast cancer now. Through BCAction’s Community Leaders for Change I hope to link more people in the southern U.S. (and research colleagues globally) with the life-giving, game-changing resources BCAction offers in efforts to “stop cancer where it starts” for people of every race, gender, and income.
My personal philosophy about ending the breast cancer epidemic is inspired by my best friend and mom Barbara, who boldly lived this question everyday: “As people facing breast cancer, how do we expand our definition of health to include both health justice and healing? Healing includes our personal bodies, and our cultural, economic, and political bodies.”
My goal as a Community Leader is to engage people in becoming “activated” within their own circumstances, to begin collectively redefining what breast cancer advocacy looks like. I’d tell other interested in Community Leaders for Change: let’s do this together, with creativity and spunk … come on board!