March is Women’s History Month, so we would like to take the opportunity to honor some very important women to the BCRC, also some visionary doctors and scientists who shaped the path forward for science, medicine, cancer care and research.
In 1996 a group of compassionate, inspired, and bold women worked together to envision and open the Breast Cancer Resource Center of Santa Barbara. Nancy Oster, Nancy Sweet, Evie Sullivan, Judy Blanco, Debbie Hobler, Sharon Kennedy, Dorothy Shea, Ellen Fogel, Susan Forkush, and Dr. Susan Love created the vision for the BCRC and with the help and support of many others, opened the doors in 1997. Dorothy Shea donated rent free a little cottage on Pueblo Street, and the rest is history. It’s thanks to the shared vision and caring hearts of the Founding Mothers that we are privileged to continue their good work today.
Pictured above left to right: Founding Mothers: Nancy Sweet, Dorothy Shea, Nancy Oster and Susan Forkush.
All of us today at the BCRC are grateful to our amazing Founding Mothers for their collective vision, heart and determination to create such an important community resource. Today we are located at 55 Hitchcock Way, Suite 101 and (for now) offering all services and resources virtually and by phone–something I’m sure our Founding Mother’s could never have imagined!
There are also many other inspiring and brilliant women who have helped shape the path forward for science, medicine, cancer care and research. We thought we would share just a few with you here.
Jane Cooke Wright – Trailblazing Cancer Research
One of the first female African American doctors, Jane Cooke Wright, born in 1919, was a trailblazing cancer researcher who worked closely with her father at Harvard, where she began testing individualized chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients.
Mary-Claire King, PhD – Discovered the BRCA Gene
The scientist who discovered the BRCA genes, Mary-Claire King, PhD, did her doctoral work and two decades of research leading to the identification of the genes at the University of California, Berkeley.
Elizabeth Blackwell – The First Woman Doctor
Elizabeth Blackwell, who was born in 1821, was the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States (Geneva Medical College in upstate New York), became an activist for poor women’s health, and went on to found a medical school for women in England.