Mary Ann Wasil Nilan: Jumping for Breast Health!
On February 4th, 2004 I found a lump on my breast. On February 5th, I had a negative mammogram, an ultrasound and a surgical biopsy to remove it and was told it was malignant.
One woman, two breasts, eleven lymph nodes, eight chemotherapy treatments, five hospitals, eight surgeries, one stroke, two 10mm amplatzer asd devices in my heart, thirty-seven months, one arm, three casts, twenty one physical therapy appointments, six fills, two silicone implants, double nipple reconstruction. $591,846.33 in total (not including prescriptions).My life priceless!
That’s my story along with being a mother of three teenagers, public speaker, former police officer, spent nearly ten years on the ABC soap opera “All My Children” and now health activist as the founder of the grassroots non-profit organization, The Get In Touch Foundation.
Get In Touch’s cornerstone mission is the Get In Touch Girls’ Program & Daisy Wheel, a breast health initiative educating girls in grades 5-12 on the importance of, and how to do a breast self exam – for life!
The September 2009 launch of the Get In Touch Girls’ Program has already resulted in its implementation in 40 states, Washington, D.C. and 13 countries, with a goal to be in every state in the US by 2011. The program, available at no cost to schools, has already been made curriculum in the Milford, CT and New Haven, CT public school systems.
My message and challenge is one of wellness and breast health. For girls and women to “get in touch” with their bodies, information and each other and to live happier, healthier lives.
Be Positive: “In the middle of the most challenging moment of your life, you can discover grace when you realize that others can be inspired by how you respond to that challenge. Whatever you do, do it with faith and grace and style and show others that they can do it, too.”
Founder of The Get In Touch Foundation, Mary Ann Wasil Nilan recently won the Oprah Magazine CoverGirl “Giving Beautiful Back Award,” as well as honored by the WNBA New York Liberty as one of their 2010 “Women Who Inspire.” She will speak at The Women’s Conference 2010 spearheaded by Maria Shriver and is currently working on her book “A Diary of Healing.” www.getintouchfoundation.org