Since its creation in 1995, MBCW has quickly become a recognized leader in the effort to find the causes of breast cancer. Accomplishments for the organization include:
- MBCW was the first organization to inform the community that Marin County is an area with a history of high incidence and mortality rates.
- MBCW is the only Bay Area breast cancer organization actively participating in research on the causes of breast cancer, and has created a model for incorporating community input into research projects.
- MBCW was the first organization to complete and publish in a peer-reviewed journal a Marin County Study funded by the California Breast Cancer Research Program on Adolescent Risk Factors and the Development of Breast Cancer.
- MBCW co-sponsored a Town Hall meeting in October 2002 with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences titled, “Voices for a Healthy Community: Breast Cancer and the Environment.”
- The Town Hall meeting led to the formation of a Bay Area group comprised of researchers, scientists and community groups who came together to submit a proposal for the creation of a Bay Area research center focused on breast cancer and the environment. The Center was awarded on October 2003. MBCW will lead the community outreach portion of the Center.
- This initial MBCW Adolescent Risk Factors Study spawned additional research studies and new collaborations among MBCW, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Marin County Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHS). The studies sought to:
- Describe the breast cancer incidence in Marin County (DHHS)
- Describe the breast cancer risk factor distributions in Marin County (LBNL)
- Further study if living in Marin is a breast cancer risk factor (MBCW/UCSF)
- Develop an environmental database for Marin County (MBCW)
- Facilitate information exchange between breast cancer research and the community (MBCW/DHHS)
- Investigate the feasibility of other projects and identify priorities for
future activities (DHHS)
- Pilot the Personal Environmental Risk Factor Study (LBNL/MBCW/UCSF)
- MBCW created the Adolescent Breast Cancer Prevention, Risk Reduction and Education Project in 2003 to reach out to adolescent girls in the community and motivate them to reduce future breast cancer risk by practicing healthy behaviors.
- MBCW created the annual Honor Thy Healer awards ceremony in 1999 to recognize and share the stories of amazing members of the community who have helped women with breast cancer during their healing process. The event is widely seen as one of the most inspirational and moving celebrations in Marin.
- MBCW created the Dipsea Hike/Run in honor of Annie Fox, a MBCW board member who lost her own battle with cancer in 2002. The event is designed to honor Annie and highlight the importance of exercise in the fight against breast cancer. The event takes place on the famed Dipsea trail on Mt. Tamalpais.
- MBCW played a major role in working with the Marin County Health Department and others to advocate for state and federal breast cancer research funds to come to Marin County, including $250,000 from the state and $250,000 from the Centers for Disease Control in fiscal year 2000 and $500,000 from the federal government for 2003.