The Noreen Fraser Story
Noreen Fraser is a married mother of two. For many years, Noreen was a television producer and worked on such shows as Entertainment Tonight, The Home Show, Home and Family and The Richard Simmons Show. Noreen now spends the majority of her time raising her children and volunteering in various capacities, including founding and overseeing activities of the Noreen Fraser Foundation.
A Message From Noreen Fraser...
In April of 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The treatment of choice at that time was surgery, radiation and Tamoxifen. Two years later, my breast cancer metastasized to my bone. I was given radiation which successfully removed the tumor from my bone and was then put on a series of drugs that would remove all estrogen from my system in order to prevent the tumor from growing again. Despite all of my treatments, I now have Stage IV incurable cancer.
Today, my breast cancer is monitored very carefully by a team of cancer specialists at UCLA. I live in 90 day increments. Every three months, I have a bone scan and a CT scan to see if the cancer has spread. As of today, it has not.
No one would choose to have cancer, but having been confronted with this adversity, my eyes have been opened to an entire new world - - the world of research for women's cancers. I have decided to join the war on cancer and I believe that the key to winning the war is RESEARCH. Through research, scientists have made great strides- they have been able to identify and classify six different types of breast cancer and four distinct types of ovarian cancer. These discoveries are significant because they will allow researchers to develop treatments to target each cancer type uniquely as opposed to targeting them with the one-treatment-fits-all approach that we are primarily stuck with today.
As a television producer, I believe television as a medium can be used to educate the public about women's cancers, share a new vision of the issues and opportunities, encourage influential corporations to lend their dollars to the fight, and appeal to the hearts, minds and benevolence of people from across the country. New drugs have helped to extend lives to some degree, but in the end, the reality is that for most women, it is their cancer that they will eventually die from. We must use the media to not only make people aware of the latest breakthroughs in women's cancer research but also to encourage people to donate the dollars that are needed to make cutting edge treatment a reality for all women.
I hope that through television and the web, we will be able tell the story that the current system of research funding is broken and must be fixed. Funding for research has been spread too thin. Although there have been some breakthroughs in women's cancer research, we are still losing too many women to cancer. Funding for promising research is needed immediately but instead of donating dollars to the research community a large, we must direct our dollars to the most promising research that aims to make new treatment options available. By diluting our research dollars among too many projects, we are losing momentum in our fight.
The key is focus...to make a difference, the Noreen Fraser Foundation will make sure that more funding goes to fewer, but the most promising research projects. Small grants given to many researchers will do no good. We must fund large grants to the most promising research so that cures and better treatment options become available quickly. I envision doctors, corporations and millions of concerned Americans coming together to help to fund cancer cures that will give this generation more than hope to pass on to the next generation.