Getting in Touch
by Angelique L’Amour Pitney
Five years ago, when I was in the middle of treatment for breast cancer, I realized I had given my two young daughters a horrible legacy: a first degree relative with breast cancer. At 3 in the morning I looked for a way to protect them by teaching them how to do a proper Breast Self Exam. That simple internet search is how I found The Get In Touch Foundation.
It is so simple –armed with information from Get In Touch I could teach the girls and their friends and encourage the schools they were at to implement the program.
The Get In Touch Foundation and Daisy Wheel Girl’s program teaches girls grades 5-12 the importance of, and how to do breast self exam-for life. Since launching in fall 2009 the free-to-schools program has been implemented in all 50 states and 28 countries. There is a free iTunes app that has been downloaded in 83 countries. A grass roots non-profit begun in a small town in Connecticut by breast cancer survivor and mother of three, Mary Ann Wasil, has become a global breast health initiative teaching girls this life saving technique.
Unfortunately, for my generation Breast Cancer has become more and more prevalent. When I was diagnosed, the girls were at Our Lady Of Malibu. In my older daughter’s 6th grade class, 5 out of the 15 mothers either had been diagnosed or would be diagnosed within 3 years. That was only the 6th grade—there were other cases in other grades.
Breast cancer, when found in early stages, is 99% curable. Learning how to do a proper breast self exam can save a life. It is that simple. The Get In Touch program shows us how.
When people ask me why I do what I do I ask them, “Who taught you how to do a breast self exam? Did you have to ask?” I want to teach our daughters, yours and mine. If girls can learn this simple technique while they are young they will recognize a change if it occurs. The men who ask me about this program are astounded that it is not a matter of course that all women are taught this technique. This year over 200,000 women and over 2400 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
I started as a survivor, became a supporter, and then became a teacher of the program at my alma mater, Marymount High School and also at La Reina. I am now on the board of The Get In Touch Foundation.
On March 12, 2015 I will Co-chair “The Get In Touch Foundation’s Pretty in Pink Luncheon and Women of Strength Awards Los Angeles 2015” with Jennifer Nicholson Salke and Tema Schrage. Last year’s event was highly successful and we honored the amazing and brilliant Dr. Kristi Funk who put it so perfectly when she said, “There is no prevention there is only early detection.”
Please join us at our luncheon on March 12, 2015. For further information go to: Getintouchfoundation.org