Sunday, October 25, 2009
Last Sunday, my friends and family loaded up two cars and headed to The Woodbury Commons for the American Cancer Society's annual "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" walk. Designed to raise money for BC research, I first did the walk with my son when he was only 6. Ten years have passed (we've walked every one since) and I'm still amazed at all the people who walk the three miles in memory or in honor of someone who has been affected by the disease. Too many "in memory of..." signs for certain. It's past time for a cure, folks...
But, despite the cold rain, we walked along with thousands of others. Hope Courtney, Audrey, Vickie, Rena, Malcolm, Corey and I are all able to do it again next year.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Each October, I promise myself I'm not going to get too upset by all the pink crap that is seemingly every freaking where. Tried that last year, but it didn't work (seriously - read all about it here). I remember being so upset in Walmart once - after seeing a pink Parker Pen that donated 1/10 of a percent to BC research - that I thought I was going to lose it. But eventually the month ended and the pink vacuums, soup cans, cookie cutters and water bottles soon disappeared. I guess the idea is that people only can or want to be aware of breast cancer for 31 days - and not a second longer.
And about awareness: what the hell is it that we're supposed to be aware of? Before my diagnosis, I knew that young, otherwise healthy women got the disease and died from it because it happened to my mom. I knew that a history of benign breast changes were a huge warning sign for pending breast disease because it happened to my aunt. But although I had two pre-menopausal relatives affected and I'd also had a history of fibrocystic breast disease, I never in a zillion years thought I would ever be diagnosed. So what are we making people aware of each October - that every brand in America can turn a profit if they stick a pink ribbon and some pithy text about hoping for a cure on their label? That's certainly what it seems like.
All the Yo Plait yogurt lids in the world will not keep women from dying of this disease, it seems. 465,000 women world-wide will be lost to breast cancer this year alone. Pink products, ribbons and races don't seem to be putting a dent in that number, either.
I'm not saying don't walk/run or buy products that talk about donating to breast cancer research, but I am saying that reading the labels is important. Find out where the money is going (treatment or mammos? cure research or into the pocket of the company CEO?), how much of it is being donated (is it a paltry penny for each $4 you spend? is it capped at $10,000?) or even if it's being donated at all (you'd be surprised at how many pink ribbon products mention nothing about where all the money collected goes). If we don't, the pink parade of stupid products will only get worse, scores more women will be diagnosed and we'll still be wading through the pink sh*t HOPING for a cure.
I'm also saying this: Enough of the pink stuff. CURE this b*tch already!
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