The LIFE Event (LPGA Pros in the Fight to Eradicate Breast Cancer) mission is to fund education and research dedicated to the eradication of breast cancer as a life-threatening disease while reaching out to a younger generation of women with educational programs and information about the importance of early detection and healthy breast care practices.
The 2013 LIFE Event was held Monday, June 10 at Hamilton Farms Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J. The 14th annual pro-am featured some of the most elite women golfers in the world from the LPGA. The LIFE Event, still noted as one of the biggest single-day golf event fundraisers for breast cancer initiatives, has raised more than $8.5 million for breast cancer research, awareness and prevention programs since its inception in 2000.
The LIFE Event benefits Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the largest private backer of breast cancer research and education and the New Brunswick-based Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Skinner and these beneficiaries, who share the common goal of eliminating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease, created the “Young Women’s Initiative,” a multifaceted approach to educating young women and other audiences about the risks associated with breast cancer and the importance of early detection. Programs from these beneficiaries and funded by LIFE continue to move this initiative.
Val Skinner Foundation and its LIFE Event partners along with Susan G. Komen for the Cure® beginning in 2013 will launch Young Women Walking, or YW2, an event for women age 16-23 targeted at raising awareness for breast cancer. The events take place on the Saturday of each Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event and includes a 20-mile walk, special reception in the Val Skinner tent and an evening of activities to celebrate the mission and activation of advocacy for research.
LIFE supports the LIFE Center at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey where researchers and medical professionals are dedicated to improving young women's understanding of the breast cancer risk and their knowledge of appropriate prevention and screening strategies. The LIFE center has established numerous satellite centers for genetic counseling at Cancer Institute of New Jersey-affiliated hospitals. Through the LIFE Centers, young women at risk across the state are provided counseling specific to their needs.
The institute also established BioCONECT, inquiry-based biology curriculum for high school students designed to improve science skills and increase breast cancer awareness. The programs promote breast health among teenagers, reduce factors that increase the risk of breast cancer, develop innovative risk-reduction for young women and study the biopsycholsocial processes that place women at risk. The BioCONECT pilot program was launched in New Jersey area schools in 2008 and was implemented in South Carolina schools in 2009.
After experiencing BioCONECT, the students expressed their interest in visiting the Cancer Institute of New Jersey to see the doctors, nurses and patients doing what they had been researching in class. As a result of that enthusiasm, BOLD was developed in 2011. BOLD (BioCONECT Oncology Leadership Development) is a summer camp for high school students conducted at the institute that allows them to experience the BioConnect curriculum as it relates to actual cancer cases with the actual doctors for those patients. Participants enhance their knowledge regarding cancer risk reduction and develop skills needed for them to become their own health advocate in addition to being exposed to careers in science, research, medicine and healthcare.
2013 LIFE Event partners include Amy & Joe Perella, Marsh USA, Ed Herlihy, Sandler Oneil Partners, Ken Langone, Guy Carpenter & Company, Atlantic City Electric, C.R. Bard, EmblemHealth and Genentech. Other notable supporters are Assured Guaranty, ACE Group, QualCare, The Cox Classic/Steven A. Cox Foundation and Lincoln.
Together, Skinner and these beneficiaries, who share the common goal of eliminating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease, created the "Young Women's Initiative" — a multifaceted approach to educating young women and other audiences about the risks associated with breast cancer and the importance of early detection. Komen and Cancer Institute of New Jersey programs, funded by LIFE, move this initiative forward.