Mission - Vision - History
The mission of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. is to empower our community by raising awareness of breast health issues through outreach, education and support services, in order to facilitate the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
The vision of the agency is to create a community where every person diagnosed with breast cancer becomes a survivor, and fear and doubt are replaced with knowledge and hope.
Founded in 1991, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, Inc. (DBCC) began as a small group of community volunteers who were committed to decreasing the mortality rate of breast cancer in Delaware. In 1994, a working committee was formed to support the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s goals to research the cause of breast cancer and pursue optimal treatments and cures. The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition originally operated under the auspices of Women in Wellness. In 1997, DBCC became its own 501c(3) non-profit organization serving to raise awareness of breast health issues in Delaware through outreach, education and support to help facilitate the early detection and treatment of breast cancer.
One of the first projects the organization undertook was the development of the “Living and Giving” exhibit that continues to reside in the DBCC’s headquarters. This exhibit is a photographic tribute to 16 breast cancer survivors to provide hope and empowerment to those newly diagnosed. Other notable early ventures included establishing a State Tax “Check-Off” and the formation the Annual Breast Cancer Update.
In 2000, the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s board of trustees hired Vicky Cooke, the first full-time executive director, and opened an office in Downtown Wilmington. Thanks to Bayhealth Medical Center, in 2001, DBCC opened their first office in Dover and subsequently in 2007, a final office was opened in Lewes allowing the agency to become statewide.
Over the past 25 years, DBCC has developed and implemented programs tailored to the unique needs of different populations, including young women with breast cancer and the formation of Young Survivors in Action, African-American women, Latinas, lesbians, and women with disabilities. DBCC has conducted many educational sessions and outreach programs for the general public, referred thousands of adults for free or low-cost cancer screenings, and has removed barriers to cancer screenings by providing interpretation, transportation and support services. DBCC is the only organization that offers Peer Mentor support for newly diagnosed patients and the breast cancer update has grown to draw a crowd of over 400 attendees. The organization holds the operating contract for the State of Delaware’s mobile mammography van that screens approximately 800 women a year. Each year, DBCC serves almost 6,000 individuals through programs and services.
To help generate income for the organization, DBCC operates two upscale resale shops in North Wilmington: Great Stuff Savvy Resale and Great Stuff Home. In addition to serving as a source of revenue, the shops provide another avenue for breast health education and outreach.
DBCC has grown through the years because of strong board leadership and community partners. The Board of Trustees now includes County Associations, giving an opportunity for more individuals to be involved with the organization. DBCC is fiscally strong and will continue to be an organization that adapts new programs and services for the needs of people with breast cancer.
Today, DBCC remains the only organization in the State of Delaware focused solely on breast health issues as they affect the women and men who live here. DBCC also serves surrounding communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland. They are Delaware’s most trusted breast cancer resource.