About Norma Logan’s Promise
Our organization’s name was chosen to honor the beautiful life and fighting spirit of Terri Brodeur, a mother of three young children and victim of breast cancer. Terri’s name is inextricably bound to that of Norma Logan, one of the founders of the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation (TBBCF).
What was and is the Norma Logan’s Promise?
Norma named the foundation after Terri because she felt that Terri represented the most dreadful aspects of breast cancer etiology and diagnosis. Terri was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer; there is no Stage V, thus Terri faced the worst odds possible. While seemingly quite healthy until diagnosis, effective treatment options did not exist to save Terri, and after a two-year battle she succumbed to the disease. Norma had herself been diagnosed with breast cancer just prior to Terri. While she originally was diagnosed at Stage II, a later metastasis spread to her liver and she succumbed to the disease in April of 2006.
Norma’s desire to establish a non-profit organization was born of her frustration at having raised money for non-profit breast cancer organizations and participated in their events only to later discover, after requesting a disclosure of financials, that a large percent of fundraising dollars were being diverted from research to cover organizational overhead and administrative costs. Her anger and knowledge became a promise in two parts: 1). 100% percent of every dollar raised by the TBBCF would go directly to research and 2). The foundation would be financially transparent so that all participants, from sponsors to volunteers, could plainly see that the organization was meeting its 100% target.
Between 2004 and 2005, Norma led a group of walkers in raising $200,000 for a nationally recognized breast cancer event. She later discovered that 40% of all the money her team raised went to overhead. Of the $200,000 raised by the group, $80,000 never made it to critical research programs. Norma felt, as a fundraiser and breast cancer patient herself, that this was unacceptable. She decided there had to be an organization that was more idealistically visionary with the gross proceeds it accepted from fundraisers.
Many organizations raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. The pink ribbons we see everywhere are evidence of their success. While monies directed towards awareness are useful, they are also donations lost to research. These dollars will never reach the scientists who are searching for the keys to unlock the mysteries of this disease. Most fundraising organizations have overhead costs that divert even more money from research. The National Institutes of Health and other government grant agencies, over the last few years, have substantially reduced the amount of money available to basic research scientists working on solutions to the problem of breast cancer therapies and treatment options. It is crucial that private philanthropic organizations fill the research dollar gap.
Thanks to Norma’s amazing vision, the TBBCF is different. By working at a grass roots level, with committed volunteers who have a proven track record in fundraising, and with the support of key sponsors, we are keeping Norma’s promise to devote 100% of gross fundraising dollars directly to research and provide transparent fiscal evidence to the 2006 donators to honor her and their commitment.
Terri and Norma became friends as a result of their shared illnesses and the fact Norma also became a Stage IV breast cancer patient. On October 14, 2005, Norma wrote an impassioned email letter to her band of committed walk volunteers from the previous year. She had just returned from Terri Brodeur’s calling hours in Old Saybrook. That letter became the spiritual contract with the group who would become the foundation leaders. TBBCF was born on that day.
We lost Norma on April 20, 2006, just six months after losing Terri, but not before Norma had used every bit of energy she could muster to fight her disease and at the same time create the reality of a new and functioning non-profit foundation.