An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
By Maxine Nunes | October 11, 2018
As an investigative tech with the San Bernardino District Attorney Child Abduction Unit, Michelle Faxon and her colleagues track down between 30 and 50 children a month who have been illegally taken by a parent.
Faxon is also a two-time breast cancer survivor, and during that journey she discovered she was not alone among her co-workers.
“There are so many people in our office who have either gone through breast cancer or had somebody very close to them go through it,” she said.
It’s one of the reasons there are now two versions of their Bureau of Investigation insignia. There’s the standard one — and then there’s the Pink Patch Project design, created by her supervisor, Carlos Flores, with two embroidered pink ribbons on either side of the scales of justice.
Participants in the Pink Patch Project — law enforcement personnel, fire departments, ambulance services and many other public safety agencies across the country — raise funds to support breast cancer research.
Sales of pink patches from these agencies go to fund research at City of Hope.
“Our patches sell like hotcakes,” she said. “And people contact us from all over the United States wanting to add our Pink Patch to their collection.”
Faxon is often the one people seek out for advice about breast cancer, and one of the things she recommends is genetic testing. 
Michelle Faxon, Pink Patch Project | City of Hope Michelle Faxon with husband Frank
She herself has been tested twice at City of Hope — the second time because the technology had advanced — and both results showed that she is not genetically predisposed to the disease. So we asked her why she still thought testing was important.
“Genetic testing gave me peace of mind,” she said, “and not just for me, but for my siblings.”
She also explained that for those who have inherited a cancer gene, test results can also make a significant difference.
“People can act on this genetic awareness by taking better care of themselves, eating healthier, exercising more. You can do some research and learn what your options are,” she said. “Don’t stick your head in the sand.”
For Faxon, genetic testing at City of Hope was a wonderful experience.
“When you’ve been going to doctors for cancer, being prodded and poked, it’s a scary thing,” she said. “But when I went to City of Hope, everybody was super sweet, and testing was basically pain-free. It just felt so peaceful there.”
To support City of Hope research by buying a pink patch, click here.

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