Meet the Founding Champions
Kathleen Ruddy, M.D.
Kathleen T. Ruddy, MD, is an internationally recognized breast cancer expert; Founder and Medical Director of the Breast Service at Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, New Jersey (1995); Founder and President of Breast Health And Healing, her private practice in New Jersey (1999); Founder and Executive Director of the Breast Health & Healing Foundation (2008); and creator of the ongoing Pink Virus Project (2009).
Dr. Ruddy’s commitment to helping women with breast cancer began early in her medical career, when her own mother was diagnosed with the disease. After completing her surgical residency as Chief Resident in 1994, Dr. Ruddy was chosen as the first Fellow on the Breast Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The following year, Cancer Treatment Centers of America recruited her to establish the Breast Service at the Clara Maass Medical Center, where she has since cared for more than 6,000 patients while conducting research and initiating projects that focus on how best to deal with the growing epidemic of breast cancer—by trying to understand its causes,rather than focusing exclusively on its cures, with the goal of preventing the disease.
Elyn Jacobs, Cancer Coach
Elyn is no stranger to cancer. Her father survived prostate cancer fifteen years ago; her mother battled breast cancer for thirteen years and lost her battle months after Elyn’s own diagnosis. Her sister would then be diagnosed mere months later. Elyn realized that she would do everything possible to avoid recurrence and to help others avoid getting this disease. She began with extensive research to better understand the causes, and now strives to share her research with others. She found there was a gap between utilizing medical science and supporting the body’s own innate ability to heal itself; nature provides ample resources for healing as well as enhancing conventional cancer treatment, but this ability requires support.
Elyn’s own encounter with breast cancer propelled her on a life-changing course. One that took her from the darkness of cancer to empowering women to find the best treatment and team for their cancer, to beat cancer, not just treat cancer, and to move on to a life of wellness.
Elyn is also the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation and the host of radio show Survive and Live Well, on Cancer Support Network, W4CS.com. When Elyn learned of a vaccine that could potentially spare millions of women from breast cancer, she knew she had to help get this vaccine funded, and joined forces with other champions of this mission.
Cindy Sullivan, Writer
Cindy majored in Journalism at N.C. State University, received her Real Estate License from University of Colorado-Boulder and lived in Switzerland for three years with her husband and traveled Europe extensively.
Sixteen months after loosing her mother to lung cancer, Cindy was diagnosed with a little known and very aggressive type of breast cancer; Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC).
During ten months of treatment, Cindy found a compassionate group of women on LinkedIn, who were willing to share their experiences with breast cancer and offer emotional support and guidance. Among them was Elyn Jacobs, who posted a time for her radio show with guest Dr. Kathleen Ruddy. Cindy found the broadcast to be enlightening as well as infuriating when she learned for the first time that a preventive vaccine has been developed and is sitting unfunded and unsupported by the pink ribbon community.
Currently writing her first two novels, Cindy has joined the Champions of the Pink Vaccine in a firm commitment to get this vaccine funded for clinical trials so that other women will never need to travel the uncertain path of breast cancer.
Judy Fitzgerald, Founder, Sisters4Prevention
Judy Fitzgerald, a retired teacher, began her breast cancer journey in 2009 when she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. Throughout her year of treatment, Judy kept a journal and became dedicated to researching long-term survival strategies. She noticed that long term survivors had remarkably similar strategies concerning diet and lifestyle; strategies that were not endorsed nor discussed readily by oncologists. She began to think that the information she collected might be helpful to others. It was then that the idea for her book, A Teacher’s Journey…What Breast Cancer Taught Me was born.
It was during the search for strategies to prevent recurrence that Judy first encountered the work of Dr. Vincent Tuohy and the first preventative breast cancer vaccine. As someone who had just endured an emotionally and physically challenging year of medical procedures, she was astounded that she had never heard of Dr. Tuohy’s vaccine. More unthinkable was that Dr. Tuohy’s only obstacle to making this potentially miraculous discovery a reality, was lack of funding. This became her mission – to promote awareness and raise funds for the vaccine. She created a web site sisters4prevention.com which promotes healthy living and Dr. Touhy’s work. It also provides a vehicle for individuals to donate directly to the Cleveland Clinic to fund the vaccine clinical trials.
Toni Turchi, Founder, Toni Turchi Foundation
Toni was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) in March of 2011. Only 10-20 percent of all breast cancers are triple-negative. It remains to be one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancers. Toni has been a runner for thirty years, has always taken care of herself and hasn’t missed an annual mammogram in thirteen years. The moral of her story……no one is exempt from this disease! 25 percent of us will lose our battle. “As far as I’m concerned, we’ve been racing too long!” says Toni. “Profiting off of my disease seems to be a priority regardless of the consequences and that’s not ok”. We have to take on the challenge of finding a vaccine to eradicate this disease forever.
In April/2012, she launched the Toni Turchi Foundation, a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission prioritizes [solely] on finding a prevention for breast cancer. She was introduced to the “Champions” as a result of their mutual goal……to save the lives of our next generation.