Statement In Memory of Andrea Martin
I rise to pay tribute to the inspirational life and work of Andrea
Martin , who died peacefully at her home on August 6. A loving wife,
devoted mother, and treasured friend, Andrea was a woman of incomparable
courage. A champion in the fight against breast cancer both locally
and nationally, she used her resources and creativity to expose
a national health crisis and fight a critical battle. She fought
for all of us by advocating for safer and earlier detection, less
toxic treatments and research into environmental causes. Andrea's
memory will be cherished by her friends and loved ones and by those
countless women whose lives she touched through her relentless advocacy.
"Born in New York City and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Andrea
graduated from Tulane University and received her master's degree
in French while on a fellowship at Tufts University. She moved to
San Francisco in 1969, where she taught French at a local high school.
Six years later, Andrea earned a law degree from Hastings College
at a time when few women had the opportunity to attend law school.
Five years after she joined the law firm of Crosby, Heafey, Roach,
and May, Andrea left the practice to open Hog Heaven, a Memphis-style
"In 1989, Andrea was diagnosed with breast cancer and told
that she had little chance of survival. Andrea's determination and
strength of character motivated her to overcome this challenge.
After a difficult year of treatment, she joined Dianne Feinstein's
gubernatorial campaign in California and became a top fundraiser
for Senator Feinstein.
"After being diagnosed with breast cancer for a second time
in 1991, Andrea chose to take the offensive. She founded the Breast
Cancer Fund in the living room of her San Francisco apartment. Through
her dedication and hard work, she transformed the Fund into one
of the most influential breast cancer research advocacy group in
"For the rest of her life, she would be an important national
leader in the fight against breast cancer. Andrea was a relentless
advocate who helped convince elected officials, health officials,
and scientists to spend more time and money discovering and eliminating
the environmental causes of breast cancer. Her conviction to educate
the public on the environmental links to breast cancer inspired
the CDC bio-monitoring legislation that I sponsored.
"Andrea ``climbed against the odds,'' literally and figuratively.
Leading other survivors in the extraordinary mountain-climbing expeditions
of Mt. Aconcagua in the Andes, Alaska's Mt. McKinley, and Japan's
Mt. Fuji, she helped increase public awareness and raised over a
million dollars for breast cancer research. She taught us that ``working
together with daring, dedication and determination, we can not only
climb mountains one step at a time, but we can move them.''
"Andrea helped change how we talk and think about breast cancer--from
a private challenge to a public health crisis that must be surmounted.
She fought her battles like a fierce warrior, but lived her life
with serenity and grace.
"To Andrea's husband, Richard Gelernter, her daughter, Mather,
her father and stepmother, Irwin and Becky Ravinett, and to all
her family and friends, thank you so much for sharing Andrea with
us, and with the countless breast cancer survivors who relied on
her indomitable spirit. As Andrea's friend and colleague, Wanna
Wright, so movingly wrote, ``her vision, like light, illuminated