The Babylon Breast Cancer Coalition (BBCC) is a grass roots not for profit volunteer organization dedicated to various breast and gynecological cancer concerns. The BBCC was founded in 1993 when three friends, Debbie Basile, Betti Ann Innes and Pat Smith of Babylon, Suffolk County, New York; two of them diagnosed with breast cancer, found they could no longer ignore the statistics. Determined to fight the disease by raising awareness and educating women about breast cancer, the BBCC, with its staff of dedicated volunteers, undertook the task of completing a demographic survey to ascertain the incidence of breast cancer in Babylon.
From this early work grew a volunteer driven grass-roots organization that serves the entire Township of Babylon. The BBCC provides direct patient services and support to help ease the burdens that breast and all gynecological cancers put on patients and their families. In additions to assisting in the basic needs of those battling cancer the BBCC also reaches out to the community at large, providing educational programs to encourage healthier lifestyles which would decrease the still very high instance of these cancers in our community.
The BBCC focuses on five essential goals:
- Prevention – Support of the Precautionary Principle and Prevention is the Cure; encouragementand education about a healthy lifestyle.
- Research – To promote legislation to increase funding for environmental research and providefunding for specific breast cancer projects.
- Education – Providing up-to-date information through our quarterly newsletter and informationpackets. We offer adult and student environmental awareness programs designed tohelp participants reduce their exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Services – To offer breast cancer patients a plethora of services paid for and facilitated by theBabylon Breast Cancer Coalition; LAHH, SOS and the Gift of Health & Inspiration
- Support – To provide support and referral services to breast cancer patients and their families.
Our programs and services include the following:
Lend A Helping Hand
Since its inception in 1996, this unique patient serviceprogram provides much needed stress relief for breastcancer patients and their families confronting diagnosisand ensuing treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation. In Spring 2007, the BBCC expanded the LAHH program to include Babylon Township women undergoing treatment for all types of reproductive cancers.
- Services offered: house cleaning, transportation to/from medical appointments, financial assistance, child care, massage therapy, meal preparation and more.
- Volunteers set up services and appointments and maintain regular contact to provide support and referrals.
The BBCC works to encourage expansion and adoption of the program throughout the country and is working with other organizations to formulate a nationwide LAHH program.
The BBCC offers scholarships to Babylon Township high school seniors who have had a parent or legal guardian with a personal breast cancer history.
Gift of Health& Inspiration
Designed to be a supportive companion to the newly diagnosed cancer patient. This program distributes a free tote bag filled with various items to assist patients heal emotionally and physically. Items include:
- Books containing important referral and breast-cancer related information, note cards, a journal and pen
- Free coupons for facials or reflexology sessions
- Personal beauty, hygiene and comfort items for post-surgical patients
In 2004, the BBCC introduced SOS, a program to help those who have lost a loved one to breast or gynecological cancer. SOS offers services such as funeral expenses, child care, food preparation and housecleaning.
Be Smart About Your Health
Created in 2007, Be Smart About Your Health is a program of various in-school workshops designed for students in kindergarten through 6th grade emphasizing the possible link
between the environment and personal health. The workshops, through a combination of visual aids, games and experiments empower students to be more conscious about healthier practices and products. Presentations are available for large and small groups.
BBCC provides an advocate to accompany a patient to the breast surgeon, oncologist or mammography appointment, providing a second set of ears, support and insightful questions.
Funding Breast Cancer Research
The BBCC has donated to various breast cancer projects.
Donations have been distributed to:
- Columbia School of Medicine – Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project
- Mt. Sinai School of Medicine – various breast cancer-related projects
- Silent Spring Institute – environmental research involving water sampling and contaminates.
- Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – Dr. Michael Wigler’s genetic research, the breast cancer research of Dr. Mikala Egeblad and Dr David L. Spector’s-research on therapeutic targets to interfere with breast cancer metastasis
- Tufts University – the breast cancer research of Dr. Ana Soto
- Lymphatic Research Foundation – for research specific to lymphedema
- Cleveland Clinic –Research for Breast Cancer Vaccine by Dr Vincent Toughy,
The BBCC has published an informative newsletter since 1994, with current distribution to more than 3,300 homes within the community and beyond.
Pink Ribbon Physical Training Program
This exercise program is designed to help women regain flexibility, stamina and strength following surgery and/or cancer treatment. Clients meet with trained exercise physiologists for 8 one-on-on personal training sessions to address their specific physical goals and issues. Pink Ribbon is available to clients up to one year post-treatment.
Vision of Hope Garden
A beautiful contemplative space with lovely landscaping, sculptures, benches and a ribbon shaped path paved with engraved bricks in memory of or in honor of someone who has battled breast cancer. The garden is located on the southeast corner of Babylon Town Hall in Lindenhurst. Bricks are available for engraving and installation at a cost of $50 each. In addition, the BBCC will be hosting our 1st Annual Pageant of Pink during the month of October 2014. Beautiful pink flags will surround the garden to promote breast cancer awareness with detachable ribbons honoring loved ones who have been affected by breast cancer. Ribbons are available for $10 each.