Spotlight: MET UP

MET UP, the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Exchange To Unleash Power, is a smart and feisty grass-roots organization committed to raising awareness of metastatic breast cancer and disrupting the breast cancer status quo with forums and demonstrations of civil disobedience. Taking a page from the history of ACT UP, members of MET UP may organize and participate in public die ins in which supporters lay down in protest to represent the 40 thousand deaths from metastatic breast cancer each year. The first die in held in Philadelphia included 108 people, representing the average number of deaths from metastatic breast cancer each day.

Philadelphia Die-In

108 women lay down in repose in Philadelphia, PA on April 12, 2015 for the first MET UP Die In.

With adherence to a nonviolent philosophy, the group has specific demands:

  • Changing the funding directed to Metastatic Breast Cancer.
  •  Of the $15 billion invested in breast cancer research from 2000-2013, only SEVEN percent was spent on stage IV disease. 100% of deaths from breast cancer are due to stage iv. Funding must reflect this. #stageIVdeservesmore
  • Adequate epidemiology and statistical counting for women living with MBC Currently, the breast cancer data system (SEER) only counts women at the time of INITIAL diagnosis. This means that those rediagnosed with stage IV (like myself, Tracey, and so many others), are never entered into Federal databases. Impossible to receive adequate funding, for inadequate data. #stageIVdeservesmore
  • That as a community we lift our MBC sisters of color and those with limited health care access. The stage of disease at diagnosis is higher in African American women and despite a lower overall incidence, the survival rate for black women diagnosed is 20% lower than white women. #fightingforALLofUs #everyColorofStageIVDeservesMore
  • A coordinated alliance with our sisters with early stage breast cancer. As 30% of them will become us (after my own initial diagnosis of stage 2 disease, I know how very true this is), we need your voices, your push, to carry ours on. Especially as we continue to die from this disease, please carry my voice. #MBCally #notMeButCouldBe

What we love about MET UP is its commitment to nonviolent civil disobedience, its willingness speak up and act out with integrity, honesty, and passion to promote systemic change. These women created this energized exchange from scratch and  the majority of them are metastatic and in poor health. What they’re doing is amazing.

Die In’s are currently planned for October 13, 2015 (Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day) at 11AM on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol and in Astoria, Oregon. An event will be held on September 27th in Seattle, WA. See MET UP’s website for forthcoming details.

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