San Rafael News Pointer: November 4, 2003

SBC donates $5,000 to breast cancer

Marin Breast Cancer Watch (MBCW), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding the preventable causes of breast cancer, has won a $5,000 grant from SBC.

The funds will be used to help support a community education program created by MBCW in July, known as the "Adolescent Breast Cancer Prevention, Risk Reduction and Education Project."

The goal of the program is to create persuasive, developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive breast cancer prevention, reduce risk and promote educational messages that will motivate young girls living in Marin to be aware of environmental exposures and to reduce future breast cancer risk by practicing healthy behaviors.

The SBC grant is the second installment of a two-year, $10,000 grant sponsored by SBC during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

Janice Barlow, executive director of Marin Breast Cancer Watch, said that support from local businesses was critical to the ultimate success of efforts to find the causes of breast cancer.

"Breast cancer is a disease that affects everyone in our community," Barlow said. "In order for us to continue with important research and education projects, we need support. SBC has shown not only a commitment but a real desire to be partners in the fight against breast cancer."

SBC Director of External Affairs Connie Williams said the Marin community was a very important partner for the company.

The MBCW adolescent project began in July and is currently in the first of three phases, a community-wide assessment about the current state of educational programs in Marin County regarding health risk, adolescent health and breast cancer awareness.

The next two phases include hosting a series of focus groups with young girls and mothers to learn where breast cancer fits into the agenda of teenage girls in Marin, and conducting an evaluation of other programs around the country to help determine the tools and information that may be helpful in Marin.

Funds from SBC will help MBCW communicate the results of the initial stages with the community and identify next steps for the program.

Community members, including health care providers, public health professionals, youth group representatives, breast cancer advocates, members of parent-teacher organizations, health educators, adolescents, teachers and parents will be involved in the project.

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