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Three Decades of Dedication

The Florida Breast Cancer Foundation has been an ardent advocate for the awareness, early detection, support and education that’s made a difference to patients, survivors and their families since 1993—and it’s only full steam ahead from here.

Back in 1993, the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation (FBCF) was just three women spearheading the effort from a kitchen table, steadfast in their determination to be both the helping hand and a beacon of hope for those whose optimism was wearing thin. And while that mission remains a hallmark of the organization today, it’s now grown to include two brick-and-mortar locations and a cadre of dedicated supporters up and down The Sunshine State. 

For all the education, advocacy and services the foundation tirelessly provides all year round, its efforts get ramped up when Breast Cancer Awareness Month rolls around—though FBCF CEO/President Tracy Jacim is quick to point out that “the public really does that for us.”

“Oftentimes, we just start getting exponentially more outreach to partner with us or to raise funds for us or to come out and speak to different groups,” she explains, adding that tax collectors’ offices—which help sell the foundation’s state-partnered End Breast Cancer license plates, with $25 from each purchase funding breast cancer research and education—even gets in on the awareness-month publicity. 

“A big part of how we encourage folks to purchase our plate is by working with the tax-collector offices in all the counties throughout the state that partner with us,” Jacim begins. “The workers there wear our T-shirts during October and when people come in to buy a plate, [the employees] talk about our organization.” 

While the foundation recently threw a 30th-birthday bash that brought together virtual revelers and those on-site as its two locations, FBCF has plenty more milestone to celebrate: a grant program that, to date, has disseminated more than $7.5 million in support of “innovative research grants;” granting nearly $800,000 in direct service grants that fund things like 3D mammograms, living expenses for those in treatment and securing medical items; $1.2 million in educational grants; and, most recently, improving an already-stellar Charity Navigator rating of 100% in transparency and 98% for use of funds to two perfect scores. 

“I really couldn’t be any more proud of that,” she says. 

Continually increasing FBCF’s reputation and visibility are critical since, as Jacim notes, “one in eight women will have breast cancer in her lifetime—and men get it, too.” Continuing awareness, emphasizing the potentially life-saving benefits of early detection, providing impactful grants and energizing supporters are all profoundly important undertakings since “our demographic is everyone.”

“One of our biggest donors has no breast cancer in his family, but he does have a young daughter,” Jacim says. “He doesn’t want her to have to potentially suffer in the future.”

That desire to diminish others’ suffering not only in the future but also for today’s patients is a common ground uniting the researchers, survivors, thrivers, supporters, donors and “everyday folks like you and me” who’ve all served as the ever-growing FBCF’s beating heart across three decades. That shared, organic passion for helping others during a uniquely daunting time is paired with four mission pillars—scientific research, education, advocacy and direct services—that amplify the FBCF team’s impact in a meaningful way. 

And while the small but mighty nine-person FBCF staff and their statewide supporters are all committed to supporting their community, that very community has plenty to offer the foundation in return to ensure it can help those with breast cancer for another 30 years. 

“We have an incredible team of employees and volunteers, who are like pseudo-employees, but we always need more support,” says Jacim. “That support doesn’t have to be financial: It’s creating awareness, helping spread the word, helping spread the education, and partnering with us to hold an educational event. Even from your desk, you can make a difference by sharing content and information from our social media platforms. And whenever you can uplift someone who’s battling this or a family facing a diagnosis, life them up!”   

Florida Breast Cancer Foundation
South Florida office: 11900 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 288, North Miami | (305) 631-2134
Central Florida office: 1755 Oviedo Mall Blvd., Oviedo | (321) 972-5534