[Getting involved in breast cancer activism] was one of those things that evolved. I happened to be working for Susan Love, she happened to be working on putting together this coalition with other women activists across the country. One day she said to me 'Why don't you become involved in this. I think you would get a lot out of this and have a lot to give.' I have to say honestly, though, I never really thought about the family connection until I was in Israel.
I went over on a nursing fellowship to work at Hadassah Medical Organization at Ein Kerem as a breast care nurse specialist and working with my counterpart at HMO, sort of modeling for her the program that I had set up here at Beth Israel Deaconess. I was giving a lecture on women, feminism, and breast cancer in the political arena.
I put a slide up, and it was a slide of my mother, blown up about five feet high as part of a poster rally in Washington. My daughter was holding one side of the picture and I was on the other side. It had been fifteen years since my mother had died from breast cancer. I'm giving this talk and all of a sudden I just broke into tears. I had never done this before, in front of this entire group, a filled auditorium.
I said, 'I guess I just never put it all together, but part of my passion is that I feel that my mother's legacy, and all of our sisters' and daughters' legacies, really can't carry on to the next generation.' I'm sure that's what drives me even more.
Looking at my daughter, watching her age and mature and her body grow. And she has a beautiful little build, and I think to myself, will these breasts turn against her someday, and I worry about that. I know that's a piece of the passion that drives me.