Fund the Fight Sale of Breast Cancer Research Stamp To End This Summer (dateline June 20, 2000) | Breast Health News | Imaginis - The Women's Health & Wellness Resource Network

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Sale of Breast Cancer Research Stamp To End This Summer (dateline June 20, 2000)

Fund the FightThe United States Postal Service has announced that it will stop selling the 40-cent Breast Cancer Research Semi-Postal stamp on July 29, 2000.  The Breast Cancer Research stamp was first introduced to the public in July 1998 and has raised approximately $12 million for breast cancer research.  The Breast Cancer Research stamp sells for $0.40 instead of the normal $0.33 for a first class stamp.  The additional $0.07 from each stamp goes to National Institutes of Health and the Defense Department to help fund breast cancer research.

The Breast Cancer Research stamp is the first stamp in U.S. history to have its net proceeds (seven cents) above the cost of the stamp (33 cents) earmarked for breast cancer research.  As a goal, the United States Postal Service is hoping to sell out of all 280 million Breast Cancer Research stamps that have already been printed. 

The stamp’s introduction was a direct result of the efforts of Dr. Ernie Bodai, MD, a breast health specialist who has treated more than 2000 women with breast cancer over the last 15 years.  Dr. Bodai travels the United States addressing groups of women about breast cancer 

The stamp itself was designed by Ethel Kessler, a breast cancer survivor in Bethesda, Maryland and was illustrated by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore, Maryland.  The stamp portrays the Roman Goddess, Diana, protector of women in Roman Mythology.  In the illustration, Diana is reaching for a quiver, symbolizing that she will protect women from harm.  Diana’s arm is raised in the same position a woman would raise her arm during mammography and breast self-examination . In the place of her right breast is the circular “Fund the Fight, Find the Cure” logo.

At a special White House ceremony in August 1998, the Breast Cancer Research stamp was officially introduced by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.   Elizabeth "Betsy" Mullen, founder and president of the Women's Information Network Against Breast Cancer (WINABC), was a featured speaker at the ceremony.  Mullen was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 at the age of thirty-three. Through her own struggles with the disease, Mullen became an avid breast cancer advocate.  Mullen and fellow WINABC board member David Goodman helped Dr. Bodai gain legislative support for the Breast Cancer Research stamp. Goodman lost his wife to breast cancer in 1997.

Two years after the introduction of the Breast Cancer Research stamp, Mullen and others are urging the public to continue supporting breast cancer research and awareness by purchasing the remaining stamps before July 29.  In March 2000, Mullen’s nonprofit organization WINABC presented the U.S. Postal Service and a select group of individuals with the “Winning Spirit Award” for helping to make the Breast Cancer Research stamp a success. 

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