While each of our Mary Free Bed campaigns touched me in some way, I must admit the current one about the Betty Bloomer Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program went straight to my heart.
I have admired the former First Lady’s candor for decades. It can’t be easy to admit to yourself that you have cancer, let alone announce it to the world.
Historians say cancer can be divided into two categories: before Betty and after Betty. She was the first prominent woman to speak openly about breast cancer. Because of Betty Ford’s courage, women visited their physicians. Countless lives were saved.
Our campaign is aimed at getting the word out about cancer rehabilitation. It’s a new sub-specialty in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation. Too many cancer survivors tell us they are willing to endure pain and poor function because they are so grateful just to be alive. Surviving cancer is a gift. We want to help people make the most of that gift – to live every moment.
Three generations of Ford women have ties to Mary Free Bed. Betty Bloomer Ford was a founding member of the Junior Guild in 1935. Her mother, Hortense Neahr Bloomer, was the Mary Free Bed Guild president from 1931-32.
At our April 2013 groundbreaking, Susan Ford Bales became a Guild member and announced the creation of the Betty Bloomer Ford Cancer Rehabilitation Program in their honor.
Betty Bloomer Ford was a cancer pioneer and a thriver. We’re doing a bit of pioneering ourselves, and because of that, thousands of patients will thrive.
We’ll share their stories. CLICK HERE to watch the new commercial.
By Jane Brierley, Director of Communications and External Relations