Friday, September 30, 2011

One cancer, three state proclamations

The other day my sisters gave me the best surprise I've ever had.  I was blindsided by their thoughtfulness, dedication, and ability to keep it hidden from me for so long.
My sisters Holly (left) and Hilary.  Yes, they are identical twins.
They saw on the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation website a section about state proclamations.  Here they learned that six states have signed proclamations to have an Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) awareness week.  They contacted the president of the foundation to find out what to do to get a proclamation in our state.  Who knows what they had to do or how long it took them (maybe they can comment on this), but thanks to my sisters the governor of the state of Iowa is going to proclaim an IBC awareness week!  He's going to sign the proclamation on Thursday, October 27th at 1:45 pm (note the day and time change) in the capitol.  My sisters and I will attend, hopefully with some of my fantastic physicians.

Not only did they pursue this proclamation in Iowa, but my cousin is working on Nebraska and my mom secured New Mexico just this past week!  One cancer, three states!  The best part is that it takes 10 state proclamations to force a national proclamation.  New Mexico was state #7, Iowa and Nebraska will be #8 and #9, and someone we don't know is close to getting California...#10!

I am just so proud of my sisters and these proclamations.  I can't write about this without tearing up.

An IBC awareness week might seem to some like political window dressing.  It's not.  IBC is a vicious, aggressive cancer, but it is largely treatable if it is caught early.  The problem with catching IBC early is that most physicians don't even know about it.  My experience with trying to get a diagnosis for what turned out to be IBC is so similar to what other women have gone through.  Women need to be aware of IBC, men need need to be aware of IBC, and of paramount importance is educating the physicians about IBC.  Perhaps an IBC awareness week will stimulate some learning.

Thank you, sisters.         


  1. Wow, this is wonderful! Go Holly and Hilary! And the fact that it's so close to being a national proclamation is also really great! You guys are doing amazing work!


  2. Heeeey girl! Nebraska's proclamation signing will be on October 24th at 10 a.m. I may or may not give the governor a high five.

    Love you!


  3. Wonderful. Is this an event you want others to attend? We can be a cheering section! Also, how cool is it that Nebraska's proclamation is on your birthday!

  4. Super sister power! You girls are amazing. Heather, you are amazing. I will even forgive Terry Branstad! Whoo-hoo. Now, we need a super-fun IBC awareness event, a la Heather style, crocheting for the cure!

  5. We started working on this last winter. Just as soon as we began, we had our cousin, Becky (Cooper) Thumann, all over the state of Nebraska. She didn't even hesitate. Shout-out to Becky as Nebraska had solifidied their date prior to Iowa. Becky deserves as much credit as she took the ball and ran with it...and didn't stop. Dad's cousin, Shelly Cooper, volunteered to do whatever it would take in Texas, but we did not pursue that avenue, as the Pres. of the Foundation told us Texas was already rolling. Mom had great success with New Mexico as well. A Senator there, Tim Jennings, lost his wife to what was first thougth to be IBC and turned out to be advanced BC. He and his wife were instrumental in creating the first ever IBC clinic in 2006 at MD Anderson (Houston).
    I love the "Crochet for the Cure" idea :) We will post the date of the awareness week as soon as it is known!!
    ~ Hilary

  6. This is amazing! Way to go y'all! I have to admit I teared up a bit myself!

  7. Holly found out that there is no limit to the number attending the Iowa proclamation signing, but if we have more than 20 people we have to notify the organizers to accommodate (change rooms). So please RSVP either via this blog or in an email to

    Thanks for the support, everyone!

  8. Please note that we've been assigned a new date and time: October 27th at 1:45.

  9. This is awesome!!! I would love to attend!!