I love my job. As the Chief Operating Officer of the Susan G. Komen ® Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center (Komen Tissue Bank) in Indianapolis, Ind., I and a team of dedicated, encouraging, like-minded colleagues get to face each day filled with hope that the work about which we are so passionate will one day lead to a cure for breast cancer.
The Komen Tissue Bank is one of those best-kept secrets that really has no business being a secret. We are the only known biobank in the world that collects healthy breast tissue for breast cancer research.
Our focus is on education, knowledge, and prevention. Our goal is to help figure out how to stop breast cancer before it begins and to encourage development of targeted treatment for particular types of breast cancer which now have no such therapy.
When we started our biorepository in 2006, the questions about the viability and logic of such a project were many. “How will this work?” “You will need to be in a clinical setting; how will you make that happen?” “Where will the funding come from?” “If you are able to pull this off, who will use the tissue?” “Where will you find women to donate the tissue?”
But we knew. We knew that something that made so much sense would find a way to thrive.
Here we are, in 2015, a flourishing source of normal breast tissue from volunteer female donors with no evidence of breast cancer, supplying researchers around the world with highest quality samples for their research projects…but all natural resources need replenishing.
The Komen Tissue Bank will come to Houston, the most diverse city in the country, to gather tissue from this ethnically and culturally rich population. We are thrilled to partner with Baylor College of Medicine, Pink Ribbons Project, and the Houston Komen affiliate, and to hold our collection event at Baylor McNair Campus, 7200 Cambridge, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28.
To donate, you need an appointment. Anyone who is eligible is welcome to make an appointment. To donate, you much meet the following requirements:
- Are a female over the age of 18
- Are not taking blood thinners (not including aspirin)
- Do not have breast implants
Scheduling an appointment is easy. You can sign up online. If you have any questions you can call our office at 866-763-0047.
If you are of a minority racial or ethnic group, we encourage you to consider donating your tissue. It is crucial that our samples reflect the melting pot in which we live, as breast cancer affects women of diverse races and ethnicities differently.
I am so excited about this event. There is something so special in the atmosphere at our tissue collections – everyone notices it. It’s a kind of blend of hope and joy, and boy, do they go together well.
-By Jill Henry, Chief Operating Officer, Komen Tissue Bank