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"Do It For Your Daughters" Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign Grows

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend Michelle Coyoti-Varela, Joyce Falotico, Morgan Fuerbacher, Jacqueline Hennessy, Adriana Poznanski, and Francesca Poznanski of Girl Scout Troop 1701 of Middletown, New Jersey for their breast cancer prevention and awareness campaign. Their national initiative, ``Do It For Your Daughter,'' encourages moms to get mammograms so as to ensure and promote early detection, and if necessary, effective treatment.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2013 alone, 232,340 Americans were diagnosed with breast cancer, and 39,620 died as a result. Roughly one in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer sometime in their lifetime. For them and their loved ones, research and treatment provide hope as they fight the disease. Many survivors and their families commit to awareness campaigns as an opportunity to save lives and help others going forward.
Each of one of these extraordinarily bright and articulate girls has had their life touched by someone who has had breast cancer. They realized this common thread during their Troop Health Walk while discussing what they could accomplish as a troop--and how they could change the world for the better. Through research and meetings with health experts, they learned that early detection can be key to survival. When breast cancer is detected at the localized stage--confined to the primary site--the five year relative survival rate is 98.6%. As the stage of the cancer progresses, the relative survival rate drops.

This knowledge led the girls to film a public service announcement (PSA) urging mothers everywhere to have mammograms done--if not for themselves, for their daughters. The PSA has played for several months on several TV channels, and the girls have appeared on shows like Good Day New York to spread their message. Through their campaign, the girls of Troop 1701 are educating us all--men and women--about the importance of early detection.

I hosted the girls in my office after they reached out to me about the project. Let me tell you, these are impressive young citizens. They are incredibly passionate and smart, and they truly are making a difference, both in our home state of New Jersey and across the county. The girls have already heard from dozens of mothers--and others--who have scheduled their mammograms after seeing the PSA. A number of organizations, both national and local--the American Cancer Society and Meridian Health of New Jersey, to name a couple--have joined the girls on the initiative.

The girls have implemented their campaign in a number of creative ways. They held the inaugural ``Jam for the Exam'' Health Fair at their school, attracting 400 attendees who were able to meet with health professionals and learn valuable health tips. It was there that they launched their ``Pinkie Promise'' campaign, having mothers sign a banner, making a pinkie promise to their daughters that they will get their mammograms done.

The girls were recently honored at the annual Girl Scouts delegate meeting where--after presenting their PSA and receiving a standing ovation--they received their Bronze Award in front of the New Jersey Delegates. It is the highest honor a Junior Girl Scout can achieve. As a fellow scout--a boy scout and Eagle Scout--I know that these girls exemplify the scout traits of courage, confidence, character, and citizenship.

This coming March, the girls will receive a further honor when they receive The Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore's first-ever Junior Women of Distinction Award. The Woman of Distinction Award was traditionally reserved for adult women in the state and local community for making a positive impact.

The award is certainly well deserved, and these girls are just getting started. Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in thanking the girls of Girl Scout Troop 1701--Michelle Coyoti-Varela, Joyce Falotico, Morgan Fuerbacher, Jacqueline Hennessy, Adriana Poznanski, and Francesca Poznanski--for their truly impressive efforts in the fight against breast cancer. They are an inspiration to us all.

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