Monday, October 5, 2009

October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Back in the 1980's, I received my first set of Denise Knitting Needles, as a gift from my parents. I was very excited to have them and I used them ALOT. I kept on using them, too, after the first company went out of business. Then, when the current owners purchased the business and started selling them, I contacted them about some replacements, that I needed to purchase and ended up becoming a dealer.

I love my Denise Needle Kit and I still use them ALOT. I still sell them too, they are listed in my etsy site. Did you know that they are made in the USA??

However, my writing today isn't to sell Denise, but to sing their praises. They are a fabulous company. They came up with the pink kit and $5 of each kit goes to breast cancer research. Below, I have cut and pasted from their newsletter, so that you can see for your self.

Research update
Since this project started in October of 2006, purchases of pink Denise products have generated over $118,000 for breast cancer research. Through the generosity of the S.D. Ireland family, 100% of donations to their Cancer Research Fund go directly to the research lab. Administrative fees are paid for by the family, making every dollar a research dollar. We asked oncologist Dr. David Krag to share with us what the lab is working on and how these funds are making a difference. Here's what he had to say:

Through the help of many, many friends who have purchased pink Denise products over this past year, our research has sped up measurably. Critical equipment has been purchased that will allow experiments to proceed much more rapidly. The funds help very much on a tangible level, but we are also deeply moved by the show of support by so many people.
Our international team of expert researchers is focusing efforts on developing methods to make customized treatments for breast cancer patients. ultimately making chemotherapy a thing of the past. We are now beginning to use a “library” of antibodies, maintained in our lab, that has been pooled from many different donors. From this array of millions of different antibodies we seek the individual antibodies that bind specifically to breast cancer cells. Over the past several years, we have developed methods that allow us to test these antibodies directly on cancer cells from breast cancer patients.
This year our goal is to significantly expand this work by using much improved antibody libraries. Also during this year we will begin to evaluate new methods to transform the most promising antibodies into therapeutic agents that could soon be used to treat breast cancer patients. This is a hugely important step and will speed us toward a time when a promising antibody can be used in a breast cancer patient. We have teamed with world class researchers who are experts in new tumor models and with researchers in Germany who have developed new modifications of antibodies that make them much more active in helping the body engage its own immune system to deal with the cancer.
We are focused on breast cancer, but the methods should be equally effective for any other type of cancer. This year marks a new collaboration with researchers who are treating neuroblastoma. This is an uncommon but very aggressive cancer in children. We are already applying the methods generated in our lab to neuroblastoma tumors and will anxiously look forward to our new work in this area.
It is a very active time for us. We have made a major turn in our research and are moving from the early developmental phase to the phase when we begin planning how to move this technology to the clinic. The funds raised by the friends of Denise are extremely important and are speeding us closer to the day when all of these cancers are treatable. Cancer is a solvable problem.
From the research team here in Burlington, Vermont, we thank you so much for your support!

1 comment:

  1. I remember that first set of yours - I would stare at it in the case, fascinated by the symmetry and shapes made by the needles in their places. But not enough to use them, hahaha!

    My friend Karen had a double mascectomy last week. I'm thankful she is doing so well in her recovery, but do hope that someday there will be a cure beyond removal and harsh chemo.