How the Triangle Metsquerade came to be:
Pink ribbons are all around us in October and April announcing the seasons of Breast Cancer “awareness” throughout the country. Hundreds of millions of dollars are raised nationally for Breast Cancer, but a very small portion of this money is being allocated for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC). And while there is plenty of giving going on, there are very few advocates and organizations for MBC. One of our national outspoken advocates is Kelli Parker of Bella Vista, Arkansas. She was diagnosed at 26 with stage 1 breast cancer and metastasized to stage 4 by the age of 33. She did everything the early detection/awareness campaigns said she was supposed to do—double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, hysterectomy, hormonal therapy, and more. Kelli realized that the current awareness and early detection approach is not working and is fighting for Metastatic Breast Cancer patients around the country and world.
One of the organizations she supports is METAvivor, a non-profit run primarily by women with MBC, which uses 100% of donations for research. 100%–this is unheard of in the non-profit sector. Imagine donating money to an organization that will maximize every dollar toward its goal. Knowing that the only key to making MBC a controllable chronic illness instead of a terminal one is more research, Kelli decided to throw her support to METAvivor.
In 2016 she came up with The First Annual Northwest Arkansas METSquerade idea as a way for the local community to specifically support the individuals with the only breast cancer that kills. She joined forces with another Northwest Arkansas woman with MBC, Lisa Quinn, to help make the Metsquerade happen. Lisa, age 37, was diagnosed with MBC in July 2015. She had no previous history with breast cancer. The idea behind the Metsquerade is to provide METAvivor with additional money to help research MBC, raise awareness to MBC, and to acknowledge the women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.
Inspired by the success of the Northwest Arkansas Metsquerade, Kristie Rolan, a local 46 year old Triangle woman living with MBC, envisioned the Triangle Metsquerade. Kristie enlisted 2 local co-chairs, Rhonda Howell and Laura Salley, to bring the Triangle Metsquerade to reality. Sadly, Laura’s life was cut short by MBC at age 43, and she passed on July 3, 2017, leaving behind a loving husband Chris and her two beautiful children, now 8 year old son Avery, and now 15 year old daughter Mackenzie. Only 6 short weeks later, Kristie’s life too was cut short by MBC at age 46 she passed on August 16th at age 46 leaving behind a loving husband Jeff and 3 sons. Holt now 10 years old, Cole now 17 years old, and Dane now 19 years old. Rhonda is continuing the Triangle Metsquerade in loving memory of Laura and Kristie.
“METAvivor is dedicated to the specific fight of women and men living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. At the time of METAvivor’s founding, no organization was dedicated to funding research for the disease and no patient groups were speaking out about the death of stage 4 cancer research. While more and more people have taken up the cry for more stage IV research, METAvivor remains the sole US organization dedicated to awarding annual stage IV breast cancer research.”
“METAvivor exists to sustain hope for those living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Passionately committed patients ourselves, we rally public attention to the urgent needs of the MBC community, help patients find strength through support and purpose, and make every dollar count as we work with researchers to regain longevity with quality of life.”
What METAvivor Does
“We bring attention to the specific issues of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, and raise public awareness about the facts of the disease. With 30% of breast cancer patients metastasizing, our goal is to see to it that 30% of breast cancer support and funding for research is dedicated to metastatic breast cancer.”
“METAvivor awards research grants to individuals with a clinical or other doctoral degree who are actively engaged in areas of metastatic breast cancer research and whose proposals show distinct promise in making a difference for the stage 4 breast cancer community. The goal of our funding efforts is to transition metastatic breast cancer from a terminal diagnosis to a chronic, manageable disease with a decent quality of life.”
“METAvivor is run entirely by volunteers, most of who are living with metastatic breast cancer. Although we do not pay any salaries, we work to obtain grants and corporate sponsors to support our operation expenses. This allows us to ensure that donations can be entirely dedicated to our research grants that fund the cutting edge research that will ultimately save lives. Unless otherwise specified by the donor, 100% of every donation and 100% of proceeds from every fundraiser (after event expenses) goes into our research grants.”
Reasons to give to METAvivor
“Breast cancer fundraisers are everywhere, but most of the money raised goes into breast cancer prevention and early detection efforts. Very little of it benefits those already fighting the disease, and only a tiny sliver—2%–is dedicated toward research for stage 4, or metastatic breast cancer. METAvivor is the only organization that soley funds MBC research through a scientific peer review process. 100% of all donations and fundraiser proceeds (after event expenses) go to MBC-specific research grants. METAvivor is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations (may be) tax deductible (please consult with your tax advisor about information regarding deductions).
“Our goal is to have metastatic breast cancer rendered a controlled, manageable and survivable condition where patients can thrive and live normal lives. With your generosity, we can fund the additional research that will help make this possible.”