Dan and Kathelen Amos today announced a personal commitment of $50,000 to the Emory Winship Cancer Institute to host the first scientific symposium in the southeast focused on triple negative breast cancer research. Dan Amos, Aflac chairman and CEO and Kathelen Amos, Aflac Foundation president, made the personal donation in honor of the company's African-American female employees who make up nearly 30 percent of the workforce. The symposium will be held on May 16 at starting at 7 a.m. at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta.
"After being made aware of the disproportionate impact of this disease on young African American women, Dan and I immediately felt led to become involved," says Kathelen Amos. "This is highly personal for us, not solely out of professional regard for the key roles African-American women play in the leadership at Aflac, but also out of a heightened concern for those we hold dear."
The inaugural Jean Sindab Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Symposium is designed to update oncologists and other healthcare professionals on the most current advances in triple-negative breast cancer, a fast-moving disease that is resistant to new targeted therapies and strikes African-American women more often than white women. In a recent population study, Emory researchers found that almost 47 percent of breast cancers in African-American women under the age of 55 were triple negative.
"We are immensely grateful for Kathelen and Dan Amos' support, which allows Emory Winship Cancer Institute to bring together the nation's top researchers focused on triple negative breast cancer," says Brian Leyland-Jones, MD, PhD, executive director of Emory Winship. "Kathelen and Dan Amos are among only a handful of private philanthropists in the nation who recognize the need for focused attention on this lesser known form of breast cancer."
The symposium will feature a panel of internationally recognized experts in triple-negative breast cancer research. There is no cost to attend. Health care professionals interested in attending the symposium can register at www.cancer.emory.edu/sindabsymposium.
In addition, Emory Winship and Emory Healthcare will host a Community Town Hall Forum focused on breast health issues for African-American women on Thursday, May 15, from 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. The forum is an educational opportunity focusing on the broad topic of breast health issues for African-American women, with information on triple-negative disease. For more information or to register for the Community Town Hall, call 404-778-2000.
Both the Jean Sindab Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Symposium and the Community Town Hall Forum are inspired by the legacy of Jean Sindab, PhD. Dr. Sindab was an African-American scholar and activist who lost her battle with breast cancer in 1996 at age 51. Dr. Sindab's memory is honored at Emory Winship through an endowed fund, established in 2005 by an anonymous donor. Today, The Sindab Project is focused on discovering new treatments for triple negative breast cancer.