Team of the Week

Team acCounting on a Cure

Believing in the hope that – one day – the cures will be found.

Team acCounting on a Cure – the team of Ernst & Young, LLP – was founded last year, when it had 45 members and raised $9,139. It was created to raise awareness within the company about the impact of breast cancer. “We wanted to provide the perspective that the disease affects not only patients, but also their families, friends and communities,” said Carina Dacer, team captain. “Most importantly, we wanted to share the message of hope.”

The team is made up of employees in Ernst & Young’s northeast subarea and includes survivors, relatives and friends of survivors, as well as people who just want to make a difference. Members of the team have been affected by breast cancer through those who have lived through the disease and those who have lost their battle. The group continues to hope that, one day, the cures will be found. “We realize there is more to life than pursuing a career,” said Dacer. “We ‘wear ourselves down’ to achieve material goals, but, in the end, what really matters is living each day in the most meaningful way possible.”

Team acCounting on a Cure

A team member honors her mother
at the 2011 Race.

Dacer uses company newsletters, meetings and conferences to get out information about the team. acCounting on a Cure also takes advantage of the Komen Greater NYC website as a marketing tool to recruit new members and holds company mini-fundraisers to spread the word about the team and its goals. Dacer feels the most successful fundraising tool is personal, one-on-one contact with potential donors. “We need to share our story,” she said, “so that donors will be moved and understand that the impact of fundraising is real.”

acCounting on a Cure also serves as support for team members who have family members battling the disease. One Ernst & Young staffer’s mother received a Stage II diagnosis in 1999. After radiation and chemotherapy, she was in remission for seven years. But in 2009, the cancer reappeared as Metastatic Stage IV. For three years, the mother exhausted all treatment options except a clinical trial. She was fortunate to be included in a trial offering targeted radiation therapy using a Cyberknife, which kills cancer cells without harming surrounding organs. After three treatments, the mother has had improved PET scan results.

“Over the past three years, I have learned that breast cancer not only affects the patient, but also takes a physical and mental toll on caregivers,” said the Ernst & Young staffer. “I would not have been as strong for my mother if it were not for all the support from my colleagues, friends, family and Komen Greater NYC Race team members.

What is the team’s favorite Race memory from 2011? “Simply crossing the finish line and realizing that by doing so, a lot of cancer patients will also be able to do so with the funds we have raised.”