Eisenhower Health launches the Selby Dunham community lecture series
RANCHO MIRAGE — Named an Athena Award Winner in 2016 and Outstanding Nonprofit Founder in 2020 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Selby Dunham — breast cancer advocate and founder of Bighorn Behind a Miracle (BAM) — was a force for good.
Selby’s journey with cancer began in 2005 when she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. The treatment that followed included chemotherapy, a mastectomy and more than 30 rounds of radiation therapy. It was during her radiation treatments at Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, when she was inspired to help cancer patients locally.
In 2007, Selby channeled her personal experience with breast cancer into founding Bighorn BAM, to provide much needed funding for diagnosis, treatment, and patient care services such as transportation and education for those affected by cancer.
Sadly, Selby lost her courageous battle with cancer earlier this year. In recognition of Selby’s impact on Eisenhower Health as a longtime supporter, devoted Eisenhower trustee, and Board of Governor, as well as her role as a community leader and advocate for all cancer patients and survivors, Eisenhower is naming its community education program the Selby Dunham Community Lecture Series.
“At Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer, we recognize the importance of being an informed consumer of healthcare,” Alison Mayer Sachs, Director, Community Outreach and Cancer Support Services, Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, said in a statemen. “In Selby Dunham, we found the perfect partner to see that vision through. Selby knew what it felt like to hear those three words ‘you have cancer,’ and experience the growing fear trying to figure out next steps. She believed the more you knew and understood about your cancer, the better prepared you were to partner with your healthcare team and optimize your care. Selby was passionate about providing the information needed to help us be our own best advocates. So, for me, naming our lecture series in honor and in memory of Selby Dunham brings that vision full circle. It’s our way of saying: Thank You Selby, you are and will always be a part of our Eisenhower Family.”
For nearly 15 years, Bighorn BAM has contributed more than $9.6 million to Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center. Through their extraordinary fundraising efforts, Bighorn BAM has purchased more than 40 pieces of equipment, and provided funding for numerous programs and clinical trials at the Cancer Center including:
- State-of-the-art linear accelerator — the most sophisticated radiation therapy delivery system available. With this incredible donation, BAM’s support for cancer patients goes beyond breast cancer to include patients needing treatment for lung, liver, brain and spinal cancers.
- Started a Patient Transportation Program, affectionately known as the “BAM Vans.” Since its inception, this fleet of three vehicles has provided, more than 40,000 rides for cancer patients to and from chemotherapy and radiation treatments free of charge.
- Lung Cancer Orchestrator to identify and monitor patients at high risk for lung cancer.
- 3D mammography system with computer-aided detection and artificial intelligence capabilities, replacing a 10-year-old piece of equipment.
- 3D breast biopsy system — allows patients to get biopsies much sooner after a mammogram, significantly shortens the length of biopsy procedure time, allows the radiologist to do real-time radiographs of core biopsies, and improves calcification findings versus the current technology.
- Software that aids radiologists with breast density assessment and evaluates mammography technologists’ positioning techniques.
- State-of-the-art breast ultrasound machine.
- Technology to support improved clinical documentation.
- Scholarships for mammography technologist education.
- High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy system to treat women’s cancers, such as cervical and endometrial, via internally delivered, localized radiation therapy.
- Ultrasound unit for the infusion centers to aid in midline placement.
- Infusion televisions and comfort amenities for Eisenhower Dermatology and Mohs Center.
- BAM covers the costs for genetic counseling at Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center through its affiliation with UC San Diego Health Cancer Network, which helps those with a positive finding, or at high risk for developing certain cancers, understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of carrying certain genes related to cancer.
- Technology for telemedicine-based consultations, increasing access and convenience for patients.
Opening and sustaining six new clinical trials in affiliation with UC San Diego Health Cancer Network providing cancer Center patients local access to innovative cancer treatment options.
“For those of us who had a chance to know Selby, she has left an incredible imprint on our hearts,” Katie Schnaser, Chief Administrative Officer, Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, said in a statement. “For those who work or get care at Lucy Curci Cancer Center, she has left a permanent imprint on this place and the level of quality care and compassion able to be delivered for years to come. Selby’s steadfast efforts in fundraising for our cause and inspiring so many others to generously give has helped make this possible.”
Photo credit: Austin Hargrave
- Selby Dunham: Austin Hargrave