From biohealth innovation to corporate donations, Maryland businesses tackle breast cancer
10/07/2019 | Amanda Winters
Businesses across Maryland are joining together this month for one special reason – raising awareness about breast cancer.
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, check out how several local companies and organizations are raising money, donating portions of sales, organizing events, and researching to find a cure.
This month, Panera is selling pink ribbon bagels and donating a portion of the sales to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. Here in Maryland, each Panera café is owned and operated by Elkridge-based business Lemek LLC, totaling 37 locations throughout the region.
The company – which was founded in 1998 by Brian Lemek, a director on the Revere Bank board – also owns several Panera franchises in Delaware and New Jersey. In addition to supporting breast cancer research, Lemek LLC and Panera Bread of Maryland have supported numerous other non-profits throughout Maryland with baked good and monetary donations, and have also focused on renewable energy and sustainability in recent years.
“Panera’s donation will help save more lives through American Cancer Society-funded research to find more cures, as well as free cancer patient services including transportation to treatment and lodging when treatment is out of town,” said Vivienne Stearns-Elliott, director of communications with the American Cancer Society’s Northeast region.
Pink ribbon bagels include cherries, brown sugar, vanilla, and honey, and can be purchased until October 31 at your local Panera location. You can also find a fundraising event near you on the American Cancer Society’s website.
Additionally this month, Bob Bell Automotive is hosting its Pink Tag Sales Event to raise money for breast cancer patients. The company’s fifth annual event is a partnership with The Red Devils, a local non-profit that funds service and aims to improve the lives of patients and their families.
During the Pink Tag Sales Event, the family-owned auto business will donate a portion of its vehicle, parts, and service sales to The Red Devils to help provide transportation, house cleaning, hotel stays, copays, and more for patients and their families. By the end of the month, the collaboration expects to have raised $25,000 for those in need.
“Whether your vehicle is in need of a simple oil change or you’re looking for something new, we hope that people think of Bob Bell this October to help us support those with breast cancer,” said Bird Bell, owner of Bob Bell Automotive.
Stop by one of Bob Bell’s four locations throughout the Baltimore Metro area to participate in the Pink Tag Sales Event this month.
It’s not only Panera and Bob Bell that are raising awareness about the disease—several companies and researchers throughout Maryland have made it their mission to eliminate breast cancer all together.
A&G Pharmaceutical, a Howard County company producing personalized medicines for cancer, focuses on a specific biomarker produced by breast cancer tumors. The company says marker “GP88” helps detect more than 80% of breast cancers and it is developing several test kits to improve early detection, as well as diagnosis and treatment.
Based in Hagerstown’s Technical Innovation Center, Ambay Immune Sensors & Controls aims to “catch it before it catches you.” The company is focused specifically on detecting breast cancer before symptoms even arise by designing a sensor that will help identify breast cancer within the blood.
Everything SilBiotech, Inc. does revolves around reducing breast cancer worldwide. Located in Montgomery County, this woman-owned business develops technologies to assist with early detection, as well as precancerous cases among women.
The GammaPod™, a radiotherapy system that was co-created by a University of Maryland School of Medicine professor, aims to deliver radiation to breast cancer tumors while protecting the surrounding major organs. Columbia’s Xcision Medical Systems manufactures the device and is seeking to market the system to hospitals and medical facilities throughout the world.
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