Tami Bowling of METAvivors of NJ joined TAPintoTV Executive Producer, Brian Brodeur, via Zoom video conference to discuss their upcoming “Light Up MBC” event on October 13 at 8pm.
METAvivors of NJ is a local chapter of the national organization, METAvivors Research and Support, which raises funding and awareness around research of Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, or “MBC.”
The group is presenting their “Light Up MBC” event at locations across the United States and Canada. One hundred and fifteen buildings and landmarks will be illuminated with the symbolic MBC colors of pink, teal and green. Many landmarks in New Jersey will be featured, including The Ocean Casino Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Camden, Eastman Plaza in Cranford, the Union County Administration Building in Elizabeth, the Waterfront at the South Mountain Recreation Complex in Essex County, the Historic Hunterdon County Courthouse in Flemington, the Grain Bin Trio at James Catalano Farms in Pilesgrove, the Municipal Building in Scotch Plains, Lower Trenton Bridge in Trenton, and the James Ward Mansion in Westfield.
METAvivors of NJ was designed to serve patients, as well as family and friends, whose lives have been touched by MBC. Their Facebook group provides an online community where people can share information, resources and personal experiences in a digestible format.
“We primarily function on Facebook,” Bowling said. “It’s meant to be a place that anyone affected by metastatic breast cancer can come to find resources and information and really feel part of the community.”
METAvivors of NJ also provides information about ways to take action, including raising awareness among leaders to create better laws and legislation for MBC research.
“When I was diagnosed with this disease, I didn’t want to send my mother or my brother articles on the statistics," said Bowling. “But I thought—what if I create a group where I can post research, I can post ways to advocate, and I can post information and people can consume it at a rate that they are comfortable with," she added.
People can visit the illuminated landmarks in person on the evening of 10/13 as well as view them online. The fundraising event will be presented virtually as “Light Up MBC Live” on METAvivor.org and @METAvivor Facebook page. The virtual benefit will feature inspiring MBC stories heard from #LightUpMBC patient ambassadors to help raise funds for metastatic breast cancer research. Musical performances will include John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls and David Bryan of Bon Jovi.
Over 627,000 people die each year globally from MBC, with over 42,000 dying each year in the U.S. alone. Metastatic breast cancer spreads mostly to the bones, liver, lungs and the brain, causing MBC patients to be in treatment for the rest of their lives – with only 22% of U.S. MBC patients living longer than 5 years. 20-30% of early stage breast cancers recur as stage 4 MBC. Ninety-eight percent of all breast cancer related deaths are from MBC, yet less than 5% of overall breast cancer research is currently allocated to researching metastatic breast cancer.
Along with the online fundraiser, LightUpMBC features a social media challenge this year as well. “Starting October 1st, you’ll be able to download a frame called Who Lights Up Your Life from Facebook,” Bowling noted, “or just simply post about someone who has made a difference in your life.”
To join the METAvivors of NJ Facebook Group, check out @METAvivorsofNJ