My fearless cousin Hallie passed from stage 4 breast cancer this year, due to a misdiagnosis of her dense breast tissue. Infuriated that her diligent efforts to get a mammo every year since the age of 30 resulted in this, she joined forces with Are You Dense? and headed straight to Albany to help get the dense breast tissue bill passed in NYC. Because of her fighting spirit, doctors are now responsible for notifying patients if they have dense breast tissue. Visit the Are You Dense? website to learn more.

“I am over the moon, even though it’s little bittersweet. This bill will not help us, the late-stage advocates, in any way. It will not improve our odds of survival. It will not reverse our late-stage diagnosis. It will not bring back Teresa, or lessen her widower’s pain. But we’re still over the moon. We accomplished something big. The bill will improve early detection and save lives. And I can’t say there’s nothing in it for me personally. The respective senate/assembly sponsors (Flanagan and Jaffee) who championed this bill, legislators who voted for it, and Governor Cuomo could not reverse my diagnosis but in signing in effect said: Yes, you matter. You are not expendable. It is not acceptable that information provided to your doctor was withheld from you.” –Hallie Leighton, on passage of the NY breast density bill.

Hallie in Albany

Read about her story, in her own words here. and watch a video of her talking about her diagnosis here. The segment starts at 16:32.

The day she Hallie died, I googled Hailey’s Comet and found this…

In 2013, the Eta Aquarids are active from April 19th through May 28th. The Eta Aquarids (ETA) are the third major meteor shower of the year. Like many other meteor showers, the Eta Aquarids are caused by the Earth passing through the dust particles of a comet. In this case, that comet is Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley).Each spring, Earth passes into a trail of dust from Halley’s Comet, and as a result, all the dust and debris burning up in our atmosphere produces the spectacle known as the Eta Aquarids meteor shower.

“Each eta Aquarid meteoroid is a piece of Halley’s Comet doing a kamikaze death dive into the atmosphere,” said NASA astronomer Bill Cooke. “Many people have never seen this famous comet, but on the morning of May 6th they can watch bits of it leave fiery trails across the sky.”

As a tribute to her, I have created the foundation, Hallie’s Comet to continue the fight. Stay tuned for more info and plans soon.

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