Thursday, October 6, 2011

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day October 13, 2011

13 Facts Everyone Should Know about Metastatic Breast Cancer:

1. No one dies from breast cancer that remains in the breast. The lump itself is not what kills. The metastasis of cancerous cells to a vital organ is what kills.

2. Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body, typically the bones, liver, lungs and brain.

3. An estimated 155,000 Americans are currently living with metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S.

4. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer is lifelong and focuses on control and quality of life vs. curative intent. ("Treatable but unbeatable.")

5. About 6% to 10% of people are Stage IV from their initial diagnosis.

6. Early detection is not a cure. Metastatic breast cancer can occur ANY time after a person's original diagnosis, EVEN if the patient was initially Stage 0, I, II or III and DESPITE getting annual checkups and annual mammograms.

7. Between 20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with regional stage disease WILL develop metastatic breast cancer.

8. Young people DO get metastatic breast cancer.

9. There are many different kinds of metastatic breast cancer.

10. Treatment choices for MBC are guided by hormone (ER/PR) and HER2 receptor status, location and extent of metastasis (visceral vs. nonvisceral), previous treatment and other factors.

11. Metastatic breast cancer isn't an automatic death sentence. Although most people will ultimately die of their disease, some can live long and productive lives.

12. There are no hard and fast prognostic statistics for metastatic breast cancer. Everyone's situation is unique, but according to the American Cancer Society, the 5 year survival rate for stage IV is around 20%.

13. To learn more about National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day as well as resources specifically for people with metastatic breast cancer see www. We appreciate your support on October 13 and throughout the year.

Another good site to share with anyone you may know who has been struck by BC, is They list trials currently going on for a person’s particular cancer, using a personalized search engine.

Is there an organization that uses donations DIRECTLY FOR research, which is the key to ending cancer? RESEARCH is the key, so much is complicated by pharmaceutical companies who primarily research drugs that will make just them money as fast as possible. There must be some pure BC research somewhere where monies are singly dedicated to finding a BC cure. Readers, if you know of any such efforts please forward the information to!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Surrender -- Artist Lin Evola's Flight of Angels


Jerusalem Peace Angel (detail) by Lin Evola

"The Peace Angels are what I and my team of artists do. Hopefully, this will inspire artists to do art that compels, provokes change." - Lin Evola


Surrendered weapons at Sims Metal Management, NJ

On October 3rd 2011 artist Lin Evola will be joined in Los Angeles by Sheriff Leroy Baca of Los Angeles County, LAPD Chief of Police Charles L. Beck and other officials to formally unveil the prototype for a five-foot sculpture to be installed at the Boyle Heights Tech Center. The “California Peace Angel” will join Evola’s series of works fabricated from surrendered and confiscated weapons, in this case donated last fall for this purpose by Sheriff Baca and Chief Beck. The event is only the latest milestone in a nearly two-decade-long journey for the artist.

Recently, NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly personally presented 946 illegal firearms to the Art of Peace Charitable Trust. The guns, surrendered in a buy-back or confiscated from suspects, will be melted down and re-cast as a Peace Angel sculpture to be installed at Police Headquarters.


Commissioner Kelly and Lin Evola

"I had a spiritual experience," she explained of learning, when her son was eight years old, that 1,000 children were being killed each year in Los Angeles. "I couldn't comprehend surviving such a loss... drawing out what I was feeling, the first Peace Angels became drawings of different cultures. The very first one and the next five were drawn at the LA County Museum, inspired by what I saw there."

The choice to express her emotion visually was natural for Lin. "Art overcomes the constraints of the word. Art is beyond language and engages all the senses that it reaches." It's a lifelong devotion for Evola. "Art is my first language and the one that I am most proficient," she says, "I learned to walk and talk at the same time that I learned to draw. It is who and what I am."

Evola discussed her chosen medium for the Peace Angels: "A sculpture lasts a million years... Clear communication would have to bridge age groups, sex, races, all people, to do what I had in mind -- shift consciousness... I would have to be exact." The substance of the art has a clear meaning as well. "Contemporary weapons -- swords to plough shares -- a human axiom as old as humanity itself."


Drawing by Lin Evola

The project has brought the artist to many places and in contact with people she would not otherwise have met, experiences which intensify her passion. When she met President Halilovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina after the war in the Balkans, she learned that, "After the war ended, a secondary plague ensued, where hundreds of children were dying by being shot or shooting each other as they located the weapons their parents hid to protect their families from future potential threat."

She speaks of "the outreach of pain of the loss of one person. When one child is killed, parents suffer; some die. Communities change."

"The same mechanism of consciousness that takes place to cause the action called violence, is what needs to shift to send that volition in a direction that protects," Evola realized. "Causing peace is purposeful. It takes effort and paying attention. It takes respect and being awake."


World Trade Center drawings by Lin Evola

As Americans, we are still reeling from the effects of mindless violence almost a decade after September 11, 2001. "I still suffer from grief," said Evola, "I know many people do." Lin and her husband Daniel Peabody-Smidt "brought the Renaissance Peace Angel from Santa Monica to Nino's Restaurant to stand sentinel during those dark days. The firemen, police officers and rescue workers signed the cement base."


Renaissance Peace Angel in Lower Manhattan, photo by Peter Danello.

Both were exposed to toxins, and while Lin was able to recover with treatment, Daniel lost his life in June of 2005. "My drawings have only been black and white since Daniel passed," she said.


Drawing of New York Peace Angel by Lin Evola

Lin Evola and the Art of Peace Charitable Trust continue her work to defuse violence with art, a goal of which she will never lose sight.

"What I have learned the most in the many, many stories, is that there can not be one sliver of energy that is ambiguous or off in creating a better life for your children, " she said. "You have to live what you believe."


Small Peace Angel with weapons to be re-purposed

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All images courtesy of the Art of Peace Charitable Trust