INDIANAPOLIS - Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY), together with leaders of the MBC community, conducted a national survey to better understand the unique challenges people living with MBC face daily.
Ninety percent (90%) of people surveyed said they experience a new or worsened emotional issue while living with this devastating disease, with more than a third saying they are unlikely to ask for help when it comes to emotional support and companionship. 4 The stress of the holiday season and pressure around a new year can be inspiring for some but draining for others. For people living with MBC, the mental and emotional toll can be significant.
Despite these daily challenges, the MBC community has a never-ending spirit to do all they can to thrive while actively in treatment for their disease. Inspired by the community's strength, celebrity fitness trainer and yoga expert, Anna Kaiser has partnered with Lilly once again to issue a 30-Day Thriver Challenge as part of the More For MBC initiative to help raise awareness and funds to improve support for people with advanced breast cancer. The purpose of the challenge is to provide 30 days of mindfulness activities and 'life hacks' for and by the community coming out of the busy holiday season and into a new year to encourage self-care, empowerment and inspiration for women and men living with MBC.
'I'm inspired by the daily strength, motivation and determination of the women and men living with metastatic breast cancer. We must increase understanding of their unique needs and provide resources that help take care of the whole person mind, body and spirit,' says Kaiser. 'The 30-Day Thriver Challenge is a reminder of the support they need to continue thriving for themselves and the people they love.'
Kaiser is teaming up with patient advocate Christine Hodgdon, who lives with MBC, to share their own tips for emotional support and wellness during the 30-Day Thriver Challenge.
'Many of my fellow thrivers and I often say that most people cannot tell we're sick. This adds to the stress of managing my disease. I feel like I also have to manage others' expectations of what someone with incurable cancer looks like and struggles with daily,' explains Christine Hodgdon, Hear My Voice leadership volunteer with Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), a national non-profit providing programs and services to help people whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer. 'Many of us experience the same stress of the holidays as everyone else, but we also have to balance the fear and anxiety that come with advanced breast cancer. Although I am stable and doing well, I'm heartbroken watching dear friends die of metastatic breast cancer. It takes an emotional toll, and I must take care of my physical and mental health. I'm excited to participate in the 30-Day Thriver Challenge because all thrivers deserve the support and resources to help care for the person, not just the disease.'
In honor of the 30-Day Thriver Challenge, Lilly will donate $100,000 to MBC advocacy organization, METAvivor, to support its peer-to-peer programing for people living with MBC and travel scholarships for patients to attend medical meetings to help continue empowering the community through knowledge of the latest advanced breast cancer research.
'Lilly's support for peer-to-peer programming and scholarships for MBC patients to be on the frontlines of research helps METAvivor in two powerful ways,' said Beth Fairchild, president of METAvivor. 'It allows us to continue connecting women and men living with MBC so they can share advice, offer support or simply enjoy the company of others who are on the same journey. This funding also helps us bring patients to the latest research and science in advanced breast cancer - elevating the community's knowledge and presence at medical meetings. Together, we can help patients continue thriving today and tomorrow.'
During the 30-Day Thriver Challenge, Kaiser and Hodgdon encourage the public to show support for people living with MBC by following the challenge on Facebook @MoreforMBC or sharing personal tips, life hacks and inspiration for self-care, emotional support and well-being, using @MoreforMBC.
'Although there have been important advancements in metastatic breast cancer research and care, there is much more to be done to address the emotional, social and practical challenges that people living with this disease face daily,' said Maura Dickler, M.D., vice president, late stage development, Lilly Oncology. 'Lilly is committed to raising awareness and supporting solutions on the unmet needs of women and men living with advanced breast cancer.'
About the More For MBC Survey
As part of the More For MBC initiative, Lilly, in partnership with leaders of the MBC community, commissioned a national survey to understand the unique emotional, social and physical challenges people living with MBC face every day. Three groups - 297 patients, 200 friends and family and 351 healthcare providers (201 oncologists and 150 oncology nurses) - were included in the survey to get a comprehensive understanding of the impact of MBC on the daily lives of patients. Separate surveys were completed by each target group, allowing for analysis of the gaps in conversation and needs that exist between patients and their caregivers and treatment teams.
About the More For MBC Initiative
Advanced breast cancer includes MBC, meaning cancer that has spread from the breast tissue to other parts of the body, and locally or regionally advanced breast cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to tissue surrounding the breast, nearby lymph nodes, or blood vessels.5,6 Of all early stage breast cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S., approximately 30 percent will become metastatic and an estimated six to 10 percent of all new breast cancer cases are initially diagnosed as being metastatic.7,8,9 In the last few years, there have been notable advancements made in MBC, but there is more to be done to address the emotional, social and physical challenges that people living with MBC face daily.10More For MBC aims to bring more awareness of MBC through more education, more research and more dedicated solutions to support the women and men living with MBC, and the communities that surround them.
About Lilly Oncology
For more than 50 years, Lilly has been dedicated to delivering life-changing medicines and support to people living with cancer and those who care for them. Lilly is determined to build on this heritage and continue making life better for all those affected by cancer around the world.
About Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly is a global health care leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.