Commemorative coins sponsored by Queens congresswoman aim to bolster breast cancer fight

Photo courtesy of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who represents parts of western Queens and most of Manhattan, rang the opening bell at NASDAQ in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month last week and met with the media to discuss the importance of funding research.

One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, according to Maloney, and the disease is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Mortality rates, however, have dropped by nearly 40 percent over the past 25 years due to investments in research.

“When I first came to Congress, I wanted to double federal funding for breast cancer research and I am proud to say that we have actually more than tripled it. We have allocated more than $855 million in federal funds this year but why I always hear from breast cancer research and awareness groups is that we need ever more funding because research is the only way we are going to finally defeat breast cancer,” Maloney said.

“That’s why I authored, and President Obama signed into law the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act. This law created the U.S. Mint’s Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Program which has the potential to raise $8.5 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The coin is on sale now through the U.S. Mint, but only until the end of the year. Together, with groups like BCRF, I know that we can find a cure,” she added.

This year, the BCRF is funding $63 million in grants to more than 300 scientists across 14 countries, making it the largest private funder of breast cancer research in the world. BCRF is recognized as the highest rated breast cancer organization in the country, the only one with an A+ from Charity Watch, and a leading nonprofit example of efficiency and transparency.

“Breast cancer does not discriminate,” BCRF Chairman William Lauder said. “Every two minutes a woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with the disease. We’re making great strides towards eradicating breast cancer — research is the reason that breast cancer deaths are down by 40 percent over the last 25 years. But there is still critical work to be done and funds raised from this coin will bring us closer to our mission to end breast cancer.”

Clinical advances resulting from research have led to increased survival rates among breast cancer patients, and death rates have dropped nearly 40 percent since 1990.

“Research is the reason there are more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. today,” BCRF President and CEO Myra Biblowit said. “But more than 40,000 people continue to lose their lives to the disease every year. Support from this coin will help us move yet closer to our goal of bringing that number to zero and consigning breast cancer to the history books.”

To purchase the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coins, visit catalog.usmint.gov/coins commemoratives and follow the link to the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coins webpage.