Mary Ann Wasil Nilan is a six-year breast cancer kickin' survivor, mother of three teenagers, health activist, dynamic public speaker and founder of the grassroots non-profit organization, The Get In Touch Foundation.
Get In Touch’s cornerstone mission is the Get In Touch Girls’ Program & Daisy Wheel, a breast health initiative educating girls in grades 5-12 on the importance of, and how to do a breast self exam – for life!
The September 2009 launch of the Get In Touch Girls’ Program has already resulted in its implementation in 34 states, Washington, D.C. and 13 countries, with a goal to be in every state in the US by 2011. The program, available at no cost to schools, has already been made curriculum in the Milford, CT and New Haven, CT public school systems.
Mary Ann is a former CT police officer and spent nearly ten years on the ABC soap opera, “All My Children;” her resume also includes film, print, voice-over and commercial work.
Mary Ann recently won the Oprah Magazine CoverGirl “Giving Beautiful Back Award,” as well as having been honored by the WNBA New York Liberty as one of their 2010 “Women Who Inspire.”
Mary Ann’s “wellness challenge” of chemotherapy, bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction can be seen in photojournalist Christopher Capozziello’s 48-picture exhibit and video, “A Diary of Healing.” Mary Ann is currently working on a book of the same title.
Mary Ann’s unique approach to her cancer diagnosis was to turn the tables on illness by focusing on wellness for others; creating a resource that shared intimacies with other survivors; and developing an educational tool that guarantees a smarter, stronger generation of girls who would become women who knew how to “get in touch” with their bodies, information, and each other.
Mary Ann invites you to “make your mess your message,” too!
To learn more about Get In Touch and Mary Ann, visit www.GetInTouchFoundation.org