Beginnings & Afters – Stories Of Making A Difference, Part IV

BCRC 20 years of service in Central TexasThroughout December we will be publishing stories of how we got started, how we’ve grown, and what we’ve accomplished over the last 20 years. All because the people of Central Texas – YOU – made improving the lives of women with breast cancer a priority.

ia Boyce and Ann Lawlor in the BCRC library in 1996.

Alicia Boyce and Ann Lawlor in the BCRC library in 1996.

Twenty years ago, if a woman wanted to learn more about breast cancer, she read a book. At that time, the basis of BCRC’s education program was a lending library that put reputable books on cancer in the hands of women who needed them.

Since then, the breast cancer world has changed dramatically. The types of treatment and the number of drug therapies have multiplied. It’s safe to say, the number of books a women would have to read to understand her situation would leave her little time to do anything else.

To make things easier, BCRC compressed the knowledge from hundreds of books into digestible, informative courses – focused on the “what-you-need-to-know” and delivered by a survivor who’s been there.

Newly diagnosed women need to confront the “what if” and the “why me”. Using donors’ valuable dollars, BCRC created a 6-week course to teach these women how to cope with complex emotions. In this course they cover topics such as understanding anger and fear, coping with the prospect of death and loss, how to communicate effectively with one’s support system, and using humor as a coping mechanism.
We had all types of women in the group, single, married, young and older, double mastectomy, lumpectomy, chemo & radiation, just radiation, no radiation, triple negative, ER positive. You name it, we had it. That is what I liked about our group… we had a sense of what each other was going through and how it was changing us……Emotionally, I sometimes felt forgotten by my family, and the group helped to change my reaction to their behavior as I gained a deeper understanding of why they were reacting the way they did. – Mary, BCRC client

BCRC Ask the Experts program

Education doesn’t always end when treatment ends. In fact, survivors face a number of ongoing problems after treatment – side effects of medications, fatigue, pain, and often after-shock. In response to this realized need, BCRC created a multi-week course to cover these topics and help women live – and live fully – in the wake of this terrible disease. 

Once I finished my treatment, it was then when I really needed the support. I was done doing everything I could to fight the cancer, but now what? Wait for it to come back? Going to the BCRC support group gives me hope and the peaceful feeling that I am not in this alone… With these women, you can share your fears, your accomplishments, anything and not feel judged. – Michelle, BCRC client
Through these courses, BCRC learned an important lesson. Women at all stages of disease want to learn from medical experts. Unfortunately, for many, attending a conference is too costly. So with the generous support of our donors, BCRC established free quarterly educational events through BCRC’s Educate & Empower/Ask the Experts program. Since its inauguration, we’ve educated over 1,000 women directly from the top experts in cancer care.

We are so proud and grateful to say that for more than 20 years, BCRC has guaranteed women in our community the opportunity to hear the latest advancements in cancer care directly from the experts. And thanks to the dedicated support of our donors, we look forward to continuing our mission of providing Central Texas women access to the most credible information about breast cancer.

Give the Gift of Hope

This holiday season we reflect on the simple reality that BCRC would not exist if it weren’t for the generosity of those who give each year. The power of your giving is REAL and it affects real women right here in the Greater Austin area.

As the year end approaches, consider opening your heart and making a generous donation to ensure our community has a dedicated place of hope for the next 20 years. We promise you’ll be making a difference that counts. Give today.

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