Pat Halpin-Murphy is being honored as an Affordable Care Act Champion of Change.
I am truly grateful to have been selected as a White House Champion of Change. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to be honored with this award.
As the President and Founder of the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC), I lead a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer now so that our daughters won’t have to. I’m a breast cancer survivor, and twenty-five years ago when I was diagnosed I found that there wasn’t an organization in Pennsylvania dedicated to supporting women and families facing breast cancer. I founded the PBCC in 1993 to fill this void. In our twenty-year history, the PBCC has paved the way for countless legislative victories that support women and families across the state.
The best part of my work is talking to women about their experience with breast cancer and finding out what we can do to help meet their needs. For instance, we learned that many women were diagnosed with breast cancer in late stages because they have dense breast tissue. Upon learning this, we didn’t just sit by and wait for something to be done. Rather, we sprang into action and convinced Pennsylvania State Senator Bob Mensch to introduce legislation to help women with dense breast tissue receive improved information and screening so that they could be diagnosed at an earlier stage.
I believe that we all have the capacity to make a difference in our communities. Former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford made a tremendous impression on me as a leader. He recognized that each person has so much to contribute if only given the opportunity. He listened to people’s ideas and encouraged them to make those ideas become realities. Senator Wofford believed that everyone could contribute to their community. I truly believe that we can all make a difference. That’s the best part of this work. I’ve come to realize that, by simply standing up and taking action, we can all be “Champions of Change.”
Pat Halpin-Murphy is the President and Founder of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.