Bosom Buddies of Arizona was founded in 1982 by five women in the advertising and communications industry in Phoenix. Our founder, Dee Courtwright-Smoot, promised if she lived through her battle with breast cancer she would do “something” to help other men and women with the same diagnosis. At the time there was very little information available on breast cancer and no one spoke openly about it.
The original members agreed that one way to help was to provide a telephone information line. Using their own home phones and a passion to help others, a new volunteer organization for men and women with breast cancer was born. The ladies took the calls themselves until a newspaper article appeared about Bosom Buddies and the number of calls increased. At that time, Bosom Buddies of Arizona partnered with an answering service that forwarded calls to volunteers who were trained breast cancer survivors.
The next project was to provide meeting places where people dealing with a new breast cancer diagnosis could speak to those who walked that path before them. Soon monthly meetings began and today there are several support groups serving the Valley of the Sun. The sessions include both educational programs with breast cancer professionals and discussion among the group members.
Bosom Buddies of Arizona's leadership recognized the importance of public advocacy to address challenging issues such as research funding levels and access to care. Our organization became a member of the National Breast Cancer Coalition, a coalition of hundreds of breast cancer organizations who lobby Congress and other decision makers for public policies that impact breast cancer research, diagnosis and treatment. Bosom Buddies of Arizona is now a board member of NBCC. Our volunteers participate in advocacy efforts on the state and national level.
The mission of Bosom Buddies of Arizona is to increase awareness of breast cancer by prevention, early detection and to provide support to men and women diagnosed with breast cancer, and their families. We will do this through the sharing of common experiences and knowledge through personal contacts, the hotline, support groups, social media, and educational materials.