Shining a Light on our Researchers, Doctors, Nurses, and Caregivers

Dr. Jill Biden gives remarks at a breast cancer awareness month reception

Dr. Jill Biden gives remarks at a breast cancer awareness month reception with Vice President Joe Biden, in the living room at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C., Nov. 5, 2013. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Earlier this week, Joe and I hosted our 2nd Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Reception. We were joined by survivors, caregivers, families, doctors, researchers, and advocates who have all been touched by breast cancer.

Each year, this reception is one of the most inspiring events that we hold at our home, and this year was no different. As I embraced both old and new friends, I was reminded of the bravery of the survivors and their loved ones. I saw the hope in their eyes, their unwavering spirit, and their determination to continue pushing forward.

This year, we asked all of the survivors to invite someone who was important to them during their course of treatment. Joe and I know that the fight against breast cancer is not only limited to what the patient endures, but also extends to the family members, the caregivers, the doctors, and researchers who work day in and day out to save lives and support those that they love.

There was Veda, who just had her final surgery a week ago. She was joined by her doctors, nurses, and her daughter Isabelle -- her youngest caregiver -- who is only 10 years old.

There was Dan Dewey from Michigan, who brought coffee to his dad and other chemotherapy patients while his dad was battling prostate cancer. His dad beat cancer, but Dan continues to bring coffee to patients at two different cancer centers each week because he loves how happy it makes everyone. 

And we were pleased to display a photo exhibit from the National Institutes of Health describing some of the recent advances researchers are making. 

Everyone in the room was there because of someone they love: sisters, mothers, friends, and daughters. As I said to those who attended – the scientists in the lab making discoveries that will lead us to better outcomes, the caregivers along the way who make the day-to-day battle with cancer even a little easier, and the survivors who on the frontlines each and every day – keep fighting.