Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th President and one of our great leaders, once said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

His words still ring true today. If we don’t do anything, we will continue to lose more than 40,000 women and 450 men to breast cancer each year in this country, and 522,000 women around the world. So, what can we do about breast cancer? How can we end this disease once and for all?

Although, scientists have discovered a great deal about this disease over the past 30 years, the dialogue about breast cancer hasn’t changed much at all. Awareness masks the hard truths that cannot be made better with a pink ribbon, like the fact that people are still dying.

It’s time for a new conversation. We need action. We need real results. We need to end our addiction to comfortable. To easy. To good enough. It’s time to be leaders. True leaders—that means every one of us who want to play a role in knowing how to end breast cancer must take action. We all must find the will, the strength, the belief to do what it takes to achieve the end of breast cancer.

For more than 20 years, the Georgia Breast Cancer Coalition Fund has been dedicated to state and national legislative advocacy efforts…fighting to ensure funds were, and continue to be appropriated for breast cancer research and treatment; and to ensuring that all women have access to quality medical treatment for the disease. We lead interactive education workshops throughout the state, arming attendees with key information on breast health, diagnosis, treatment, research and essential advocacy tools.  We also work with the Georgia General Assembly and the US Congress to ensure that funds raised actually support programs and services for the families who are affected, both now and in the future. We are working to change the conversation about breast cancer.  And you can too.

Advocacy is inherently political and attempts to increase the power of the powerless with our elected officials.  Advocacy is action aimed at changing the system. And advocacy makes a real difference! In fact, without it, we wouldn’t be where we are in breast cancer today.

Successful grassroots advocacy efforts are dependent upon individuals. Not necessarily political experts. But individuals who are passionate about an issue and prepared to make their voices heard. No experience necessary. If you can plead a cause, defend those in need, and speak up for those who choose not to, you are an advocate.

Every legislative session brings changes that directly impact access to breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment. Individuals who are committed to eradicating breast cancer, must be diligent in monitoring legislative changes and making sure that their voices and opinions are heard.  Our involvement is essential to make elected officials care about breast cancer issues and take a position. Because only we can effectively explain why we care about breast-cancer related legislation.

The legislative process is complicated, but becoming an effective advocate can make a real difference. Are you with us? Are you ready to join us as Georgia’s VOICE to END Breast Cancer? Join us on Tuesday, February 28, for Georgia Advocacy Day at the Capitol. Because together we can change the conversation from awareness and screening, to prevention and saving lives. And together, we ARE Georgia’s VOICE to END Breast Cancer!