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September 2013 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Registry of Motor Vehicles Special Plate program, established by the legislature as an opportunity for charitable organizations to raise funds through a dedicated license plate.

In recognition of the anniversary, the MassDOT blog is sharing the story of some of the nearly 20 special plates.

To sign up for a special license plate today, please visit www.MassRMV.com

To learn more about all plates in Massachusetts, please visit http://www.massdot.state.ma.us/Portals/16/docs/manuals/PassengerPlatesManual2012.pdf

RMV Plate Breast Cancer

License Plate: Cure Breast Cancer   Year Plate: 2006

Number of Plates on the Road: 5,410  Funds Raised for Charity: $692,480.00

The Cure Breast Cancer license plate was issued on October 31, 2006.  Since then, over 5,500 people have signed up for the special plate, raising $700,000 for research to find a cure for breast cancer.

The effort to get the Cure Breast Cancer plate on the road was spearheaded in 2003 by Deb McNeill, who personally designed the plate and is also a breast cancer survivor. In 2004, McNeill met Janice Connolly-Laubenstein whose late sister Diane Connolly Zaniboni struggled and ultimately succumbed to Inflamatory Breast Cancer (IBC) in 2000 at the young age of 39. In 2005, McNeill and Connolly-Laubenstein formed the non-profit Cure Breast Cancer Plate Initiative, which included an active volunteer group committed to getting the plate on the road.

The Initiative selected Tufts Medical Center as the recipient of the plate proceeds. All proceeds from the sale of the Cure Breast Cancer special plate go directly to the Diane Connolly-Zaniboni Breast Cancer Research Fund at Tufts MC which awards two year grants of $85,000 per year to a selected “Diane Connolly-Zaniboni Scholar in Breast Cancer Research.”

Research scholarships have been  awarded  to Rachel Buchsbaum, MD, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in Hematology Oncology and an investigator in the Molecular Oncology Research Institute (MORI) at Tufts Medical Center. A primary focus of Dr. Buchsbaum’s research is inflammatory breast cancer, the same cancer that ailed Connolly-Zaniboni and one particularly prone to invading tissues and spreading to other organs, which is what makes it so deadly.

“The work we are doing is focused on understanding the precise steps that enable breast cancers to invade and spread in this fashion,” Buchsbaum says. Through her extensive research and drive to find a cure for breast cancer, Dr. Buchsbaum continues her work thanks in large part to the success of the Cure Breast Cancer License Plate Initiative.

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