The Breast Cancer Alliance was founded in March 1996 by Mary Waterman. Diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, Mary knew that her chances for long-term survival were not good. She wanted to help other women fight breast cancer through research, health education, and most importantly early detection. Mary died in January 1997. Her courage and determination are a continuing inspiration to us all.
The mission of the Breast Cancer Alliance is to improve survival rates and quality of life for those impacted by breast cancer through better prevention, early detection, treatment and cure. To promote these goals, we invest in innovative research, breast surgery fellowships, regional education, dignified support and screening for the underserved.
The Breast Cancer Alliance intends to expand its role as the preeminent regional organization funding breast cancer research, early detection, and education.
The Breast Cancer Alliance is a fast-growing, dynamic organization. We have awarded over $19 million in grants since our founding. Our primary fundraiser, an annual luncheon and fashion show, co-sponsored by Richards of Greenwich/Mitchells of Westport is a major charitable event attended by nearly 1,000 contributors. A prestigious roster of businesses and private foundations provides generous financial support. Contributions from individuals continue to escalate. This stellar performance in fundraising allows the Breast Cancer Alliance to provide increasingly large sums to support vital, cutting-edge breast cancer research each year and to expand our educational programs.
Research and Grants
The Breast Cancer Alliance disperses grants to high-impact breast cancer research, fellowships and early detection initiatives. In an average year, 60% of our grant funds go to innovative research, 20% to train breast surgeons at SSO-accredited medical institutions and 20% to early detection programs in the communities we serve. The distinguished cancer specialists on our Medical Advisory Board, together with outside experts on our External Review Committee, help us make quality grant decisions. Over the years, the Alliance has funded a variety of cutting edge research grants and one-year post-graduate breast surgery fellowships at the nation’s leading research institutions along the East Coast. We also fund community outreach programs and education initiatives throughout Connecticut and Westchester County, New York. In addition to requiring midterm and end of year reports from each of our grantees, we also visit each site to help ensure that our funding is being used as intended, and to further assess the impact of our work. Site visits are open to all who are interested.
We help educate women about breast cancer research, treatment, and prevention through our newsletter, Outlook, at intimate gatherings with prominent doctors, and through our web site.
To make early detection of breast cancer widely available, the Alliance supports a variety of programs providing free mammograms and other related services through several organizations, including: Greenwich Hospital, Hartford Hospital, the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, Norma E. Pfriem Breast Care Center at Bridgeport Hospital, Middlesex Hospital, Stamford Hospital, the Witness Project of Connecticut, and St. Raphael’s/Yale-New Haven Hospital.