Local Woman’s Legacy Still Helping Spread Breast Cancer Awareness

IBCAT Founder Nancy Jaynes

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer found in women. They say 1 in 8 American women will have breast cancer at some point in their life. The good news is that when the cancer is detected early, it can be treated and the survival rate goes up substantially. In order to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and to promote mammograms and self-examinations, we recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness month.

The Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust (IBCAT) is a not-for-profit organization that improves access to breast cancer screenings and diagnosis and support services while also increasing awareness. They accomplish all that by selling Breast Cancer Awareness specialty license plates through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. A $25 donation is generated through every license plate sold.

Out of all the organizational specialty plates, the breast cancer awareness plate is ranked at the top of the most widely purchased specialty plates sold. Since the plate was introduced by Nancy Jaynes in 2002, tens of thousands of Hoosier women have received screening, diagnostic and support services with nearly $4 million being awarded through their competitive grants. The organization also provides an annual scholarship in memory of Nancy, who lost her battle with cancer in 2008.

The Nancy Jaynes Memorial Scholarship for college or post-secondary technical training is worth up to $1,500 and is awarded to high school seniors who have lost a parent to breast cancer or to those who currently have a parent battling the disease. The application becomes available in January of each year with a February deadline.

Nancy taught at Plymouth High School in the Family and Consumer Science Department for three decades. She was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998. She established IBCAT where she served on the board of directors and came up with the specialty license plate idea in the early 2000’s with the help of some friends. She envisioned the license plates to be traveling billboards to promote the importance of early detection and breast cancer prevention.