Reps. Maloney & Sessions, Sen. Heitkamp, BCRF, U.S. Mint, and Breast Cancer Survivors Celebrate Launch of Program That Could Raise $8.5M for Research and Awareness
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY12), Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX32), Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) President Myra Biblowit, Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint David Croft, and Breast Cancer Survivor Melissa Miller joined together on March 15 to celebrate the launch of the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin program at the U.S. Capitol. The bipartisan Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 2722) to create the commemorative coin program was introduced by Reps. Maloney and Sessions in the House and Sen. Heitkamp and retired Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in the Senate.
This commemorative coin program features proof and uncirculated versions of three coins: the five dollar gold, the silver dollar, and the clad half dollar. The gold is the first coin the U.S. Mint has ever issued in a pink hue in honor of the color most closely associated with the fight against breast cancer. This program creates a fresh and innovative way to raise funds for breast cancer research at no cost to taxpayers, and has the potential to raise millions of dollars.
“This has been a very special project for me from the start. One in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and it is the second leading cause of death in women. It’s virtually impossible to find someone who has not been affected by breast cancer in some way,” said Rep. Maloney. “But through research, we have been able to increase survival rates; death rates have dropped over 38 percent in the last 25 years – but we need more funding to continue this life-saving work. This Commemorative Coin Program that launches today is a creative solution to that problem. Not only will sales of these coins help spread awareness, they also have the potential to raise up to $8 million in private funds for breast cancer research without any cost to taxpayers. This coin program takes us another step closer to finding a cure.”
“As a survivor of breast cancer, I know personally how critical it is that we raise awareness about this disease. Breast cancer impacts millions of women and families across this country,” said Senator Heitkamp. “It’s an honor to join my colleagues and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation today to launch the commemorative coin. Through efforts like this one and so many others across the country, we can work to stop breast cancer while honoring the many courageous women fighting this disease, those who have overcome it, those we have lost, and the families and friends impacted.”
“In my home state of Texas there will be more than 17,000 new breast cancer cases that will claim the lives of more than 3,000 women and men. These heartbreaking statistics underscore the importance of furthering research and learning more about how we can detect, prevent, and defeat this disease,” said Rep. Sessions. “For the past two years I have been proud to join my friends and colleagues in leading this effort to generate funds for breast cancer research. For more than 20 years the Breast Cancer Research Foundation has raised awareness and provided resources for innovative research that have made tremendous strides in how we tackle this disease. I am honored to be a part of this initiative and hopeful that through the proceeds of this coin we can come one step closer to putting an end to breast cancer.”
“Breast cancer is one of the most urgent public health issues of our time. More than 40,000 women and men across the U.S. die from the disease each year,” said Myra Biblowit, BCRF President. “But progress is possible—BCRF investigators have been involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer research since 1993. We will eradicate breast cancer and support from the Commemorative Coin program will help us achieve our mission even faster.”
“Every day, across the Nation, the Mint connects Americans through coins, and it is our great privilege to connect America to a powerful message of hope and perseverance in the face of such a devastating disease,” said Acting Deputy Director Croft.
“Investing in research is the only path to ending this disease. Research focused on how young breast cancer patients should be treated, funded by BCRF, helped to determine which treatments I should receive when I was first diagnosed at age 27,” said Melissa Miller. “I am so thankful to BCRF for being so vigilant and dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research and for giving me the opportunity to represent all young breast cancer patients and survivors today. I am also so grateful to Representative Maloney, Representative Sessions and Senator Heitkamp for their sponsorship of this legislation and to the U.S. Mint for developing these beautiful coins.”
Rep. Maloney is the author of the law that established the commemorative coin program. The bipartisan Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 2722) was signed into law in 2016. All proceeds from the Commemorative coin sales will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) to support research.
The BCRF is the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world. In 2018 alone BCRF is funding $59.5 million in grants across 15 countries. BCRF is one of the highest rated organizations in the U.S. with an A+ rating from Charity Watch, 4 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator, and GuideStar’s Gold Seal for Transparency. Thanks to research, mortality rates have decreased by more than 38 percent in the last 25 years.