The month of October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness month. One nonprofit is working to help prevent, detect, and unite people worldwide who hold the cause near and dear to their hearts.

I'd like to introduce you to Julie Greenbaum, the co-Founder of a nonprofit humbly dubbed Fuck Cancer.

Greenbaum created the organization to unify a generation of young adults who have been affected by the disease and raise funds toward cancer awareness. She launched the charity in 2009 at the age of 19 to honor her mother, who lost a battle with ovarian cancer.

Like many of us, she faced hardship and dove headfirst into finding a way to make a difference. She says that she had no experience in running a nonprofit early on, but quickly grew to love the steep learning curve. It was difficult, but she checked her ego at the door and kept an open mind, soaking up as much knowledge as she could.

Over the years Greenbaum learned about another organization with a strikingly similar name, "F*ck Cancer" run by Yael Cohen Braun. It felt wrong to view her as "competition" considering they were fighting for a similar cause.

In 2015 the two merged to create a powerhouse, combining their talents to run a unique socially conscious organization that really connects with people.

Part of what Greenbaum does is oversee the charity's fundraising efforts, helping to expand the events model. That ultimately allows the charity to make a measurable impact in reducing cancer risk and improving early detection.

A different approach

One thing she's doing, in my opinion, is changing the way millennials view charity. There's a booklet on my desk which outlines all of the "popular charity events" in Miami right now, and every single one of them is a dinner, gala, or some other snooze-worthy event that millennials don't have any interest in attending. Fuck Cancer is changing that up and activating younger generations.

If you haven't heard of their events, they tend to go a little like this:

Fuck Cancer comes into town, throws an unforgettable evening at a trendy venue with one of the world's top DJs spinning. Attendees can be seen having the time of their lives and sharing every moment on social media. The #FCancer hashtag, for instance, has over 104,000 posts.

To gain such a reputation, Greenbaum focused on building relationships with musicians and DJ's, sometimes partnering with them to donate a portion of their ticket proceeds to the cause. Recently, she and Cohen Braun teamed up with Martin Garrix, who was just named DJ Magazines No. 1 DJ in the world. This makes him the youngest DJ to ever top the list, at only 20 years old.

The combination of doing good for the community and simply having a good time makes events like these a no-brainer for attendees. Celebrities have also come out to support the cause, thus furthering the brand's mission. Board members include talent agent Scooter Braun, actors Stephen Amell and Sophia Bush, as well as other high-profile activists. Since 2009, Fuck Cancer has raised over $2 million collectively toward awareness and digital solutions to prevent cancer.

I love their fresh new approach on reaching younger generations, and motivating people to make a difference.

What is the long term goal?

Greenbaum hopes to one day be out of a job -- because that would mean that cancer was no longer an issue.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is upon us and it serves as a reminder to learn how to self screen for breast cancer. Did you know that breast cancer affects both men and women, and that 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by self-examination?

For this reason it is important that you learn how to check yourself for breast cancer properly.

Thanks in part to the efforts of groups like Fuck Cancer, the number of cancer survivors in the US doubled between 1992 and 2012 and that number is expected to rise to 18 million by 2022.

Published on: Oct 24, 2016
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