Brakes For Breasts: RepairPal Certified Shops Help Fight for a Cure

Stephen Fogel
October 17, 2019

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society estimates that 42,000 people will die of breast cancer in 2019, while over 271,000 will be diagnosed with it. While one in eight women are at risk, breast cancer can also strike men.

In an effort to stop breast cancer, many RepairPal Certified shops across the country are participating in Brakes For Breasts, which raises money each October for a unique and promising approach to a cure for breast cancer.

The story behind Brakes For Breasts

Brakes For Breasts began in 2011, with an independent auto repair shop in Ohio that was owned by two women, Laura Frank and Leigh Anne Best. After Laura’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer (which is linked to breast cancer), these women wanted to do something that would spread the word and raise funds for research.

After a great deal of research, Laura and Leigh Anne discovered Dr. Vincent Tuohy at the nearby Cleveland Clinic. Tuohy had been developing a preventive breast cancer vaccine designed to work against the most lethal form of breast cancer. This vaccine has shown some very promising results. It is about to start human trials.

The women decided to donate the proceeds of their Brakes For Breasts fundraising efforts to the Cleveland Clinic Breast Cancer Vaccine Research Fund. Brakes For Breasts contributions will go specifically towards the development of similar vaccines for other forms of breast cancer, as well as ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and possibly other diseases.

In 2011, the first year of Brakes For Breasts saw participation from five independent auto repair shops, all located in Ohio. Since then, Brakes For Breasts has grown to become an organization with a national and international footprint. Over 100 independent auto repair shops, representing more than half of the 50 states and also Canada, are currently participating.

How does Brakes For Breasts work?

During the month of October, participating Brakes For Breasts repair shops offer their customers free brake pads when they have brake work done. Customers pay only for labor and other needed parts. Each shop then donates 10% of that amount directly to Brakes For Breasts, which donates 100% of that contribution to Tuohy’s research efforts. Brakes For Breasts takes no administrative costs out — it all goes directly into research.

As the word has spread, Brakes For Breasts has been adopted by more and more independent auto repair shops. Brake pad suppliers have also gotten into the act, contributing brake pads to the cause. Other automotive-related companies, including RepairPal, have become sponsors of the organization as well.

After initially setting a goal of $1 million back in 2011, Brakes For Breasts has reached a total of over $740,000 raised over the eight years of its existence. Pretty good results!

RepairPal Certified shops participating in Brakes for Breasts

Stephen Fogel

About the Author

Stephen has been an automotive enthusiast since childhood, owning some of his vehicles for as long as 40 years, and has raced open-wheel formula cars. He follows and writes about the global automotive industry, with an eye on the latest vehicle technologies.