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Generations United for awareness, hope & a cure was started in 2020 by two women who wanted to get more involved in the community fight against breast cancer. Our goal is to bring different generations of women and men together to raise awareness, inspire hope, and find a cure. We also aim to combat the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic disparities in breast cancer mortality and early detection across the United States by fundraising money to pay for low-income women to get breast cancer screenings.
Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
My name is Ava Jeffs and I am a high school senior in North Carolina. I have an intense passion for breast cancer research and awareness in my local community. My grandmother, Peggy, passed away from breast cancer at the age of 32. My mom was just 11 and the oldest of three kids when she lost my grandma, and her role model. I have a goal of preventing this tragedy from affecting future generations of mothers and daughters, and in 2017, I started the Pink Ribbon Club at my high school. The club has been very successful, raising a total of $4,233 for the cause and donating 75 chemo-care packages to hospitals across the triangle. I also started interning at a cancer research lab at UNC Lineberger in summer 2019 and became even more motivated to spread awareness and help my community in the fight against breast cancer. In spring 2020, I contacted my friend and breast cancer survivor, Marge Morena, with an idea to start a non-profit organization that represented our two unique generations coming together with three goals: raising awareness, inspiring hope, and finding a cure for breast cancer. In summer 2022, I'm excited to intern in-person at the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT, where I will be apart of teams that develop life-changing cancer therapeutics.
My name is Marge Morena. I'm originally from Maspeth, Queens, New York but I have been a resident of Cary, NC since 1996 (why did I wait so long to move to this amazing city). Even though I was very diligent in getting my annual mammograms since I turned 40, without issues (a few call-backs for "I squished you wrong"), at the age of 66 in 2015, I received the unnerving news that I had breast cancer. The radiologist told me that if I hadn't had a 3D Mammogram, my cancer would not have been found at that time and it would have been a different story. So my journey began. I opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy on November 12, 2015 and immediate reconstruction with expanders. My exchange for permanent implants was March 2016. The best news was that my cancer was diagnosed as Stage 1 and my Oncotype was 19, with no lymph node involvement, so my oncologist advised that I didn’t need chemo or radiation, just a hormone inhibitor, Letrozole that I will take for up to 10 years. I am happy to say that my recovery was relatively easy due to the fact that my amazing husband, Rich, was by my side for every appointment and procedure and loved cooking and cleaning so I could concentrate on healing. We created the team “Marge Madness for 3D Mammograms” for the 2016 Komen Race for the Cure and each year it has been a wonderful experience to walk with my Pink Ribbon Sisters in this very emotional yet exciting event where we celebrate survivorship and lend our support to our Metastatic Breast Cancer Sisters.
Marge's story continued...
As I approach my “cancer-versary” each year, I think back to 2015 and by the grace of God, my husband’s love and dedication and the love of my wonderful family and friends, I am here to do what I can to advocate for other women and men, who need support through their journey to good health. I am so proud to be working with Ava Jeffs on our new non-profit organization, Generations United for Awareness, Hope and Cure. As you can tell, Ava is the young lady and I am the “older” yet still “fun” member of Generations United. We hope you will join our efforts to bring awareness to all women and men about their potential risks and encourage everyone to be diligent in their self-exams and getting their annual 3D Mammograms.