My first week as CEO of YSC, I received an email that I will never forget. It was from one of the co-founders of the organization, Joy Simha. I was only eight months out from diagnosis when I was appointed CEO of YSC and still actively in treatment.
Joy had already spent a great deal of time that week educating me on the history of the organization, but the words in her email had a message to convey that was far more significant to me.
I printed out that email, and, to this day, it hangs above my desk so all the staff of YSC can read it.
“When we are diagnosed with breast cancer, we learn about how to help ourselves. After we go through treatment, we are done helping ourselves. When we learn about the science of breast cancer, we learn how to help all women. We can’t sacrifice one for another or cure only ourselves. Now we start working for the community. It is not about my cancer or her cancer or my disease or her disease. It is about doing what is right for the majority of those living with and dying from the disease. We sit around a table and share our personal stories when they are relevant to illustrate a point or highlight some data we are discussing. We do not answer a scientific question with anecdotal evidence. We are part of a community, and we do whatever is necessary to benefit that entire community.”
– Joy Simha
YSC Board Member and Co-Founder
Thank you Joy, your guidance and friendship mean the world to me.