The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation (DSLRF), an accredited 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1983 to eradicate breast cancer and improve the quality of women's health through innovative research, education, and advocacy. What sets us apart from all other breast cancer organizations is our mission to move breast cancer beyond a cure by understanding the causes and ways to prevent it. At DSLRF, we are conducting and funding research that is focused on getting to the root of the disease and ending it once and for all. We believe at the core of effective research is a need for scientists, women, and funding organizations to work together. We have an Army of Women, with over 360,000 volunteers (and growing every day), who are ready and available to partner and participate with researchers from around the country. We conduct research, we fund research, and we fast track research.
The work of DSLRF falls into four distinct categories:
- We conduct our own breast cancer research in collaboration with some of the top researchers from across the country. No other free standing breast cancer organization is so heavily invested in the research process. Some of our projects include the development of a breast fluid test to identify women at high risk for breast cancer, as well as researching bacteria in the breast ducts and how they can affect development of breast cancer. The Foundation is also building a model to help explain how environmental factors may influence breast cancer risk. We write grants to secure funding for many of our research projects, and also work with our donors and partners to fund research that is changing the research paradigm. Our goal is to end breast cancer, and in order to do that, we have to be fast, flexible, and project-based with our research approach. We identify needs and determine how these needs can be quickly met, not by emulating existing nonprofit organizations, but by designing a new model specific to the tasks at hand. We approach our research projects by collaborating and coordinating with other organizations. The goal of our research program is to identify the barriers to research and to then create new solutions.
- We facilitate research through the Army of Women Program. Launched in October 2008, thanks to a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women, the goal of the program is to recruit one million women, with or without breast cancer, who are willing to sign up and participate in breast cancer research studies looking into causes and prevention of the disease. We have over 360,000 volunteers from across the country, and have worked with over 60 researchers to help them find the right population of women to participate in their research projects. The Army of Women is democratizing the research process, and engaging and teaching the public about the importance of participating in research before the onset of disease. It has revolutionized the way we mobilize and engage volunteers for a common cause.
- We have established a long-term cohort study, the Health of Women (HOW) Study, that will change the way we collect patient reported health information as well as create a new model for data sharing within the research community. Through HOW, we will be collecting health and exposure information from Army of Women members, as well as the general public, over time to understand potential new risk factors for breast cancer. HOW is a longitudinal, online cohort study with the goal of engaging the public to share their health information, and to create a treasure chest of data for the research community through an open platform, data sharing model.
- We are committed to educating women about breast cancer through the Foundation website, www.dslrf.org. The site has a wealth of information for women newly diagnosed with the disease, those experiencing a recurrence, or caregivers of those with breast cancer. The site is kept up to date with the latest in breast cancer treatment and news. We have a 24/7 email support system where women (and men) can email us questions about breast cancer and our team of breast cancer experts respond within 48 hours. The website has served as a source of information and support for millions of women.