Running across the country for metastatic breast cancer research

Metastatic breast cancer research is underfunded. Help change the conversation by volunteering for this event!

Metastatic breast cancer research is underfunded. Help change the conversation by volunteering for this event!

A while back, I connected with the president of METAavivor, an organization that provides support, education and research funding for metastatic breast cancer (MBC). According to METAvivor , only 2 percent of breast cancer research funding goes to MBC, the only kind of breast cancer that kills. What makes this even more incomprehensible  is that 30 percent of all breast cancer cases will metastasize.

For that reason, their main goals is to advocate  that 30 percent of breast cancer research funding and support activities be devoted to MBC.  METAvivor has formed its own cancer research fund, targeted the most promising MBC research. The organization puts 100 percent of all donations to this research fund.

To help further their efforts, on February 1, 2014 breast cancer widower Marine Corps LtCol Joseph Fagan will depart San Diego CA, arriving in New York City on Father’s Day weekend.  Along the way Joe will meet with researchers, including METAvivor grant recipients, dedicated to improving the lives of metastatic patients.

Joe’s involvement is very personal.  In 2010, his wife Lainie Fagan was 29 years old and pregnant with their first child. At 34 weeks she was told her cancer had metastasized and that their child would need to be delivered early so that she could begin treatment. JJ was born October 1, 2010, but tragically it was too late for Lainie; Joe and JJ lost their beloved wife and mother only nine months later. Joe is passionate and determined to do his part so that others can be spared such a devastating loss.

Intent of Event – Awareness and Fundraising: Over 122 days Joe will run 3,845 miles, transiting twelve states and meeting with metastasis researchers, metastatic patients and family members. Public speaking engagements at various locations and the filming of his journey for purpose of a documentary will bring significant attention to metastatic breast cancer and give voice to a patient community that is seldom heard.  A coinciding fundraising campaign will bring in valuable dollars to help fund METAvivor’s 2014 research grant cycle, estimated at $320,000.

Opportunities for Volunteers: To maximize the effectiveness of the awareness and fundraising campaigns, Metavivor needs volunteers nationwide in many different capacities.  Right now, they are actively seeking volunteers wishing to LEAD various committees and wishing to SERVE ON these committees.  Please specify your preference when you apply.  Here are the committees:

  • Sponsorship (soliciting sponsors, donations in kind, merchandising, etc.)
  • Logistics (route organization, transportation, housing, meals, RV, etc.)
  • Volunteers (orientation, regional and local coordination, etc.)
  • Media/Advertisement (start/end events, publicity stops, photography, etc.)

If you’d like to volunteer, send an email with your  name, email address and phone number to Metavivor’s volunteer coordinator:

Tami Boehmer is a metastatic breast cancer survivor, speaker, blogger and author of From Incurable to Incredible: Cancer Survivors Who Beat the Odds. You can visit her at

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