This organization is providing wonderful services to men, women and families touched by breast cancer. The staff is all caring, professional, helpful and always goes the extra mile. I hope that some day breast cancer is a thing of the past and we no longer need BCC, but until that time I am so thankful they are here for all who need it.
This is a fantastic nonprofit that provides personalized information and support to anyone touched by breast cancer. It serves the larger Bay Area community in California - and across the country/world via the Internet and 800 phone line. Committed caring staff, outstanding Board and staff leadership, 300+ compassionate, caring volunteers and an incredible array of more than 35 programs and services all offered free of charge. Programs include one devoted to funding diagnostic tests for young men and women under 40 who are uninsured and not eligible for state funded programs despite a risk of breast cancer. A truly caring, mission-focused organization.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, I found a Breast Cancer Connections bookmark in the packet of information that I was given at the hospital where I had my biopsy. I went to their free and informal (“no reservation-needed”) Thursday night Open House/Q&A session to get some of my questions answered. I was so impressed with the combination of professionalism and warmth that I found there that I became an avid supporter and volunteer (Board Member, Buddy [Peer Counselor to newly diagnosed women], member of their Survivorship and Advocacy Task Force), and general all-around promoter of BCC’s services. Let me tell you a little about the weekly Open House: Every Thursday night from 5:30 to 7:00 you can just walk into the beautiful and calming space that BCC calls home and find a breast cancer healthcare provider (medical oncologist, breast surgeon, radiologist, reconstructive surgeon, dietician, etc.) as well as a therapist who runs the sessions. There are also survivor volunteers who answer the "what it's like" types of questions that only someone who has been through the experience can. Women at the session take turns asking their questions to the doctor or other clinician. The women and supporting friends and family members learn from the doctor and from the other women by hearing their comments. At this session you can also learn about the 30 other programs BCC has available, free of charge, to patients, survivors and families. I continue to donate and volunteer at BCC because I see the impact that my support is making. This is a fabulous asset to our community and now with a toll free number, to the whole country.
Review from CharityNavigator
Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2004, I was treated aggressively with dose-dense chemotherapy. My treatments left me extremely debilitated and once my radiation series was over, I immediately came to Breast Cancer Connections (BCC) to restore my self confidence and also to acquire tools to cope with my transition to my “new normal” life. I joined the newly formed Recovery and Renewal Support group. I also participated in the “Writing Your Way Through Cancer” Workshop. I began to develop coping skills, through hearing what other survivors were doing. I took advantage of all the resources available, and began applying my biology and environmental background to understand breast cancer, healing and recovery concerns, and survivorship issues. Currently, I am a Helpline Volunteer where I feel I make an immediate difference in the lives of those making that first call for help. I am a “Buddy” and peer mentor for clients needing support. Often people will comment “How can you volunteer on the Helpline – isn’t it difficult and so sad?” I am not denying that some weeks my four-hour shift can be challenging. Recently, I supported three breast cancer clients – two came to our center and the other client I spoke with by phone. I was there to help these clients find the resources they needed but most importantly, I was there to listen to these courageous women. There were tears and hugs in abundance but I knew, as clichÃ©d as it sounds, that I had helped “make a difference” to these women by being a helpline volunteer that morning. Other shifts are filled with hope and joy such as the time when a gentleman called on my shift wanting to donate part of his jewelry sales to BCC. His first encounter with BCC was that of a real person with a friendly, helpful voice, there to help him connect to BCC and the wonderful work that we do. He visited BCC the same morning, met with our development staff and left a generous cash donation. I highly encourage others to volunteer and become involved with this wonderful organization – you will feel valued. As noted in the last part of BCC’s mission statement: “…an atmosphere of warmth, sensitivity, and understanding” This is BCC – the minute you step through the door you feel this warmth from staff and volunteers alike. This is what volunteers want to feel – a connection to the BCC “community” and an opportunity to give hope to anyone touched by breast cancer. I can honestly say that being a part of BCC has made an enormous difference to my life. BCC resources, workshops, and complementary therapy programs enabled me to recover from the debilitating effects of my treatment and allowed me to address the psychosocial aspects of having been diagnosed with breast cancer in a safe and nurturing environment. It is a privilege to be able to support the organization that supported me through a dark time in my life.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2007. My friend suggested I check out the Newly Diagnosed Support Group at Breast Cancer Connection (BCC). I’m not much of a people person, but she insisted that I go at least once. Best thing I ever did! Not only did I meet women going through the same thing I was going through, I met women who were near completing their treatment, and thriving! Seeing these women in person gave me a great sense of hope. I learned so much about different chemo drugs available, and their related side effects, that I felt empowered to choose the course of action I would take to cure my particular form of breast cancer. Now I attend the Recovery & Renewal Group at BCC. Once in a while I attend the Newly Diagnosed Group and hope I am an inspiration for others going through this terrible disease.