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Yonni Wattenmaker Leads Breast Cancer Alliance Into the Future
Yonni Wattenmaker Leads Breast Cancer Alliance Into the Future

In her 10 years as Executive Director, working mother Yonni Wattenmaker has helped make Breast Cancer Alliance (BCA) into a fundraising powerhouse in the breast cancer field. Yonni Wattenmaker helped Leads Breast Cancer Alliance into the future.

Under this busy mom’s leadership, BCA has become one of the most prominent and highly-ranked national breast cancer charities. Dedicated to improving survival rates and quality of life for those impacted by the disease by investing in early-stage innovative research. Also, breast surgery fellowships, regional education, and breast cancer-related healthcare services for the underserved.

90 percent when the cancer is caught in its earliest stages

Breast cancer is still the most prevalent cancer affecting women of all ethnicities in the United States. There have been astounding strides in breast cancer survival rates since BCA’s founding 25 years ago. Today thanks to medical and scientific advances these are near 90 percent when the cancer is caught in its earliest stages.

“Despite the tremendous progress that has been made, our mission continues with a renewed sense of urgency. Especially on the heels of, and setbacks from, the COVID-19 pandemic,” Wattenmaker points out. She says that BCA has set a stake in the ground, aiming for a 100 percent breast cancer survival rate by the close of this decade. “It is an ambitious goal but one we believe can be achieved,” she notes.

As part of its outreach efforts, Wattenmaker says that BCA is increasing creative programming. With a strong focus on engagement and wellness. For example, it recently held its 2nd annual Get Fit For Hope challenge, which this year was expanded to include a wide swath of classes. It focused on exercise and well-being, most held virtually.

Consumer-centric programs

BCA remains active and vigilant to its original core purpose with continued investment in innovative research, breast surgery fellowships, regional education, and support and screening for the underserved. To date, BCA has awarded over $30 million, with over $13 million of those grants designated for innovative, life-saving research.

BCA has come a long way by six dedicated women from Greenwich, Connecticut. From hosting fashion shows to bring the important focus on the need for support and a cure. “But our intent hasn’t changed for 25 years,” Wattenmaker says. “From its inception, our mission has been to improve survival rates and quality of life for those impacted by breast cancer. Through better prevention, early detection, treatment, and cure.”

Moving forward, she also stressed the importance of educating the underserved community. Also improving access to information, and helping to remove financial barriers so people can get the care they need.

Wattenmaker is thankful to be part of an organization like BCA

Says the people she works with, many of whom are fellow moms, are all focused on an end to breast cancer and improving outcomes.

Statistics show that one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. And 30 percent of patients diagnosed are living with metastatic disease. Wattenmaker says that BCA will not rest until these odds are greatly improved.