Boca lawyer races to make others aware of breast cancer prevention

Stacey Mullins is a woman on the move with a passion to eradicate a disease that has killed those closest to her.

Mullins is a matrimonial lawyer at Shuttler & Greenberg law firm in Boca Raton. She’s also a dedicated runner.

Now this busy woman is running a race to spread the message that early detection of breast cancer saves lives.

She particularly wants young people to understand the disease and learn about ways to prevent it, such as learning how to perform breast self-examinations.

The journey began following the 2010 death of Mullins’ mother, Sandy Zabinsky, from the disease.

In 2012, Mullins established the EBC Foundation in her honor. The foundation sponsors a 5K run each October dubbed Every Boob Counts.

The first run last year was at John Prince Park in Lake Worth and featured some 650 runners. This past October, the run had 1,000 participants. This year, about $15,000 so far has been collected for the South Florida affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, where she is on the board of directors. Mullins still is expecting to collect another $10,000.

Some money will go to Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies, which has an outreach program in the public schools that also teaches breast health awareness, Mullins said.

“So the mission for the foundation is to raise awareness for the early detection of breast cancer in the younger generation,” Mullins said. “We’re trying to tap into high school and middle school and start a discussion about breast health and awareness.”

“We want kids in high school talking about it,” Mullins said, and laughed at the obvious fact that “this is an easy market!” because boys and girls already are talking about breasts, albeit for different reasons.

So Mullins figures, why not make the discussion of boobs educational, too?

To include boys in the discussion, EBC hosts a youth boys basketball tournament, the EBC Classic, for boys in grades 4 through 10. Each boy receives a pair of breast cancer awareness socks, and Mullins was pleased to see an entire gym earlier this year looked pink.

Mullins is not the only family member dedicated to the cause. Her high school daughter, Jennifer, has been equally passionate and helped create the EBC Foundation. Both were recently honored at a Susan G. Komen volunteer awards dinner. Jennifer was given the Community Service Award and Mullins was given the Eleanor Goodman Spirit Award.

Despite efforts to move past her mother’s death, Mullins remains surrounded by the tragedy of the disease: Last month her law partner, Susan Greenberg, died of breast cancer.

Name: Stacey Mullins

Age: 47

Hometown: Delray Beach

Education: B.A. and J.D., University of Florida

Family: Husband, Kevin; daughter, Jennifer, 17; son, Tommy, 14; son, Adin, 6.

About your company: We are a boutique law firm that serves the needs of changing families. Our goal is to take our clients through what can be a very difficult time in their lives and show them that there is a light at the end of a tunnel that can look very dark. We strive to maintain the family unit even though post divorce it may look quite different. We recently lost our founding law partner and good friend, Susan Greenberg, to breast cancer. She left us with a strong firm base from which to continue on.

First paying job and what you learned from it: I have been working since I was in high school. I learned early on the value of being fiscally responsible and dependable.

First break in the business: I graduated law school in 1991 and was fortunate to secure a job with John F. Romano, a very well-respected trial attorney. He is not only a very talented lawyer, he is one of the most ethical and professional lawyers I know. I was proud to call him my mentor. We practiced together for 11 years.

How your business has changed: My area of practice has changed over the years. I have limited and focused my practice in the last 10 years to family law. I understand how difficult it is to go through a divorce having been through one myself. I enjoy helping our clients to see that there is life after divorce and that their children will beOK.

Best business book: Who Moved my Cheese by Spencer Johnson. This quick read reminds us how important it is to know and understand the unique personalities of those with whom we work to best use their skills.

Best piece of business advice you ever received: If your gut tells you what you’re being asked to do is wrong, it probably is.

What you tell young people about your business: Find your passion and pursue it; everything else will fall into place.

Many successful people learn from failure. Do you have a failure you can share and what you learned from it?

I learned a lot from the failure of my first marriage. I learned how important it is to work as hard at your marriage as you do at your job. I learned to forgive myself for my past mistakes and create a new family dynamic that incorporates my husband, my children and my former husband.

What do you see ahead for Palm Beach County? I hope for controlled growth. We live in a paradise that is anything but a secret.

Where we’d find you when you’re not at the office. When I’m not at the office, you’ll likely find me running, biking, swimming, at the basketball courts with my son, the soccer fields with my daughter, or on the golf course with my husband.

Favorite smartphone app: Maps. I have no idea how I ever made it from point A to point B without it.

What is the most important trait you look for when hiring? Passion and work ethic. If someone has great work ethic and is passionate, I can teach her anything.

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