CTE Gives Back! October 2022



October is earmarked internationally as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with an annual campaign to increase awareness of this disease and to raise funds for the research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure.  What a powerful mission for this horrible disease that truly impacts countless families in the world.

Check out some of the facts and figures about breast cancer, a cancer like other cancers that does not discriminate and can be swift and punishing:

  1.  In 2022 an estimated 287,850 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 51,400 cases of non-invasive cases are projected.
  2. About 1 in 8 US women (about 13%) will develop invasive breast cancer sometime in their lives.
  3. Approximately 43,250 women in the US are expected to die from this disease in 2022, higher than those from any other cancer besides lung cancer.

With so many charities worldwide focusing on awareness, research, and treatment of this disease, Cable Tie Express through its CTE Gives Back! Program has chosen this month to target our charity dollars to one specific fund:  The Wallace, Shatsky, Blackburn Courage Through Cancer Fund.

This Fund was founded in September 2018 by Tammy Blackburn, the former San Diego State basketball star, double alumna, and SDSU Director of Development Technology, who is battling her own Stage IV cancer diagnosis.  Her cancer started with a stage three diagnosis, going into remission less than a year later but this was cut short in March 2019 when the diagnosis read “stage four metastatic breast cancer” as it had spread to her spine. 

Tammy knew and learned first-hand that cancer does not just affect the patient but carries through with a heavy impact on the family, including financial implications in many aspects of life not the least of which can be financial hardship for family members and students seeking their college degree.  Seeing this with students at San Diego State when mom, sister, dad, or brother received such a diagnosis, sparked her desire give back to students whose education may be affected by a cancer diagnosis in the family, paying for tuition, housing, meals, and books. 

Tammy credits her highly skilled doctors, Dr. Anne Wallace and Dr. Rebecca Shatsky, and their medical team at UCSD for showing her what courage looks like.  Tammy says it all when she speaks of these amazing women: “Your brilliance is unmatched and your kindness is deeply appreciated”.  This fund is her way of thanking them and enabling 34 students thus far – with that number growing - keep their dreams of education alive.

On a broader mission, Tammy who truly knows what a Stage IV diagnosis means and has accepted that there is no cure for this diagnosis is committed to leaving a legacy to others living with or supporting someone with that same diagnosis.  If you fall into that broader spectrum or are supporting someone in your circle dealing with a Stage IV diagnosis, we invite you to listen to this powerful video of Tammy discussing Stage IV cancer, being a beacon of light and positivity and awareness…and how to be part of a team with love and support and realization about such a diagnosis: 

It is an honor and a pleasure to select The Wallace, Shatsky, Blackburn Courage Through Cancer Fund as the recipient of our CTE Gives Back! dollars this month.  For more info, click on this link:

And to Tammy, we know these are your words: “Life is hard, but we can do hard things”. 

Keep doing those hard things, Tammy – you continue to make a difference and CTE is honored to be part of your mission!