Breast Cancer Activist
President, 1 in 9: The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition
Executive Director Hewlett House
Geri Barish has been at the forefront of the battle against breast cancer on Long Island since 1988, and has earned the distinction of being New York State’s preeminent breast cancer activist.
In 1996, Geri was awarded the 1st Annual New York State Innovation in Breast Cancer Early Detection and Research Award. Geri has been recognized by numerous elected officials and health care organizations for her outstanding contributions to increasing breast cancer awareness and education and for her indelible impact on so many people’s lives. Geri is no stranger to the pain and torment of cancer: she is a breast cancer victim and survivor. Her son, Michael, lost his life at a young age of 25 from complications of Hodgkin’s Disease. Geri promised Michael that she would dedicate her life to finding the causes and cures for breast cancer, and she has done so to this day.
Geri’s dedication and perseverance has resulted in increased national funding, the implementation and overseeing of the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project, which is the first scientific symposium held on Long Island to determine whether there was a need for a separate Long Island study of breast cancer; and the establishment of the ongoing Michael Scott Barish Human Cancer Grant at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for the research into genetic mutations that could cause breast cancer, lymphoma, and leukemia. In March 1997, Dr. Michael Wigler, the scientist supported by that grant, announced the discovery of the breast cancer gene, P-TEN. To date, 1 in 9 has donated almost $1 million dollars!
Geri is a member of the National Action Plan Personal Risk Factors Committee, the Governor’s Health Task Force, the Ad-Hoc Committee of Cornell University and the Department of Environmental Conservation on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors, and the American Cancer Society’s “Reach To Recovery” Volunteers. She has met personally with President and Mrs. Clinton and has been instrumental in persuading United States Senator D’Amato, NY State Senator Joseph Bruno, Majority Leader and Speaker of the Assembly Sheldon Silver, to throw their full weight into Long Island’s battle against breast cancer.
Geri lives in Baldwin, New York with her husband Alan, her son Eric, and faithful dog, Sam.