Alexandria, VA – When Martha Carucci was approached by Allison Priebe and Claire Schwab to co-host a Galentine’s Party at their jewelry and design shop in Old Town Alexandria, she jumped at the chance. As the executive director of the National Breast Center Foundation (NBCF), Carucci is always on the lookout for a great opportunity to put the good word of her foundation front and center. From organizing the Walk to Bust Cancer every October to the annual Swing to Bust Cancer golf tournament in May, Carucci is dedicated to making the NBCF a well-known cause here in Alexandria. Any other chance to raise money or awareness is embraced and championed.
Carucci joined Dr. David Weintritt, founder of the National Breast Center and Foundation in Alexandria, in 2014. The greater Washington, DC, area has some of the highest incidents of breast cancer in the country, due to a mix of demographic, socio-economic, and environmental reasons. Of particular concern to Weintritt was the alarming number of late-stage diagnoses he was encountering, busy women across the economic spectrum who were tending to their families and careers, but putting off their own necessary screenings until it was too late. Weintritt, an innovative breast cancer surgeon, felt the need to reach more women and increase their success rates with better detection. Weintritt hired Carucci and launched the NBCF with a three-part approach to meeting his objective: education, access, and technology.
The education goals of the NBCF go beyond self-exams and mammograms. Weintritt encourages area practitioners, nurses, and providers to use more advanced, readily available technology that enables more accurate diagnoses and treatment options. He’s introduced new treatments and options including researching new methods of lymph node mapping, cryoablation for breast tumors, and many other cutting-edge technologies that increase successful outcomes. Read more about some of these breakthrough technologies on the NBCF website.
Even with all the latest technology, though, the biggest challenge remains reaching the women who need these services the most. And that’s where the good work of the foundation comes in. Under Carucci’s leadership, NBCF has partnered with Nueva Vida, a local nonprofit dedicated to Latino families whose lives are affected by cancer. Carucci is in awe of the work this organization does. “They are amazing women who are finding the families in need, connecting them with crucial medical care, and then personally driving them to their appointments, helping with child care arrangements and providing translation services if needed. They are angels.” Carucci has also partnered with other cancer advocacy and assistance organizations such as We Will Survive Cancer and Tigerlily, forming mutually beneficial relationships with the shared goal of helping people in need.
At the Galentine’s Party, Weintritt thanked hosts Priebe and Schwab for supporting the foundation and affording the opportunity to spread awareness of his foundation. He said, “I wish I could share the feeling of being able to tell a patient who had no hope that there is a lifeline, and see her stress and fear melt away. It’s not enough to just say thank you when we’re granted the superpower of putting our arms around so many women in our community and lifting them up and helping them in their hour of need.”
Priebe and Schwab, who generously donated their beautiful shop and refreshments for the reception, expressed their joy at being able to raise awareness for the NBCF and give back to the community, and invited others to consider hosting similar events there. Carucci was grateful, thanked the friends and neighbors for coming, and encouraged them to participate in the October Walk to Bust Cancer, the foundation’s biggest fundraiser and Carucci’s keystone event. “When he hired me, Dr. Weintritt said he wanted to bring a cancer benefit walk back to DC. I’m honored to have been able to do that for him, and it’s become our biggest event, with each year raising more money than the previous. Form a team and register! Hope to see you in October.”
For more information on Dr. Weintritt, visit the National Breast Center Foundation website.