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Y-ME Breast Cancer Organization


About Y-ME http://www.y-me.org

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization™ (Y-ME) is a Chicago-based national nonprofit organization with the mission to ensure, through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone. Y-ME® does not raise money for research. We’re here today for those who can’t wait for tomorrow’s cure.

At the center of the organization is the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Hotline, the only 24/7call center operated by trained peer counselors who are breast cancer survivors and takes more than 40,000 calls a year. Y-ME counselors do not give medical advice but give emotional support and information about breast cancer, procedures and treatment options. Hotline calls are interpreted in 150 languages.

The organization was founded over a kitchen table in 1978 by the late Ann Marcou and Mimi Kaplan, two breast cancer patients who sought to provide support for fellow breast cancer patients and their loved ones. From these humble beginnings, Y-ME transformed into a national organization that helped revolutionize the way breast cancer patients access information and make decisions about their healthcare. Nearly 30 years later, Y-ME is a premier resource for breast cancer information and services, all provided completely free of charge.

Y-ME’s newsletters, publications, brochures and Web site, www.y-me.org, provide information and support to those touched by breast cancer in Spanish and English. Other Y-ME programs include a Match Programs for both patients who have similar diagnoses and life experiences, and for husbands and partners of women with breast cancer; the Wig & Prosthesis Bank for those with limited resources; the monthly ShareRing Network Teleconference; and A Day for You and Friends of Ann & Mimi, programs for the medically underserved.

Y-ME’s Advocacy program works to increase breast cancer research funding, support breast cancer related clinical studies and ensure quality health care for all.

The organization has affiliates throughout the nation that provide services such as support groups; early detection and teen workshops; wigs and prostheses for women with limited resources; and advocacy on breast cancer related policies in their communities.

Each year on Mother’s Day, the organization holds the Y-ME Race to Empower in Chicago and Y-ME Walk to Empower events across the country. In 2006, nearly 40,000 people took part, raising a total of $6 million in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Tulsa and Washington, D.C. Eighty percent of each dollar raised benefits programs and services offered free of charge to those seeking information and support when facing breast cancer. Y-ME is further expanding its Mother’s Day tradition by adding Walk to Empower events in Atlanta, Cleveland and Phoenix in 2007.

Charity Navigator, an independent evaluator of nonprofits, gives Y-ME its highest rating of four stars for sound fiscal management. Y-ME meets all of the National Health Council's 41 Standards of Excellence, best practices that encompass the areas of governance, personnel policies, programs finance, fundraising, accounting and reporting, and evaluation.

If you or someone you know needs breast cancer information or support, call the 24-hour Y-ME National Breast Cancer Hotline at 1-800-221-2141 or 1-800-986-9505 (Spanish).