Need I tell you that October is breast cancer awareness month? This might be inspiring. Or it might make you want to throw something at the next pink ribbon you see.Breast cancer awareness has taken off in the last couple of decades, hugely in part to the efforts of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Today, we see pink ribbons on everything from our yogurt to NFL player’s uniforms.
A lead breast cancer researcher in the Los Angeles area once explained to me that the funds and attention are behind breast cancer research because, unlike other cancers, it widely spans age-groups and outcomes. So, in short, all kinds of research can be conducted within the breast cancer field. The key to curing all cancers will probably first come from a breast cancer cure.This makes me feel better. At least there is good reason for all the attention.
After doing a guest post at TheMomIWantToBe.com on ways to show support this month, I was inspired to compile a Top 5. If you too want to show your support for breast cancer awareness and the quest for a cure, the below are this survivor’s top suggestions:
1.) Join Army of WomenYou can actually participate in studies to help eradicate the disease. All types of women, with/without cancer, all parts of the country can join and be a part of the research.
2.) Go 1-on-1 with Your SupportThere are millions of women with breast cancer. Chances are you will know someone who is diagnosed at some point. As you should toward anyone undergoing a tragedy, have enough compassion to go out of your way to help them meet their everyday demands during an overwhelming time. And expect nothing in return.
3.) GiveResearch takes money. Give to a reputable organization you can trust. Definitely check them out first; there are a lot of marketing gimmicks out there that actually give so little of your spending dollars to breast cancer research that they are not worth your time or money.
For example, if you’re buying Yoplait yogurt (which, before public outcry, was made with dairy stimulated by the hormone rBGH) and mailing in your lids so that 1 cent per lid will be donated (and paying 46 cents for a stamp), perhaps your efforts would be better directed elsewhere.
Really, countless causes and organizations are vying for our attention, support, sympathy, and of course, money. Within breast cancer research or breast cancer awareness alone, there are thousands upon thousands of organizations claiming their utility. Like everything in life, we have a responsibility to sift through the information available to us and make smart choices.
Here’s a helpful article on vetting nonprofits in general: Make Sure Your Donation Counts.
4.) Promote awareness
I want to say we all know there is such a thing as breast cancer. But reminders why you should be checking yourself, getting recommended mammograms, and seeing a doctor if you feel something unusual never seem to be unproductive.
Wearing your support for the cause is an easy way to do this. Plus, on a personal level, there is something really moving about someone making a statement on your behalf with a shirt, a bracelet, whatever it is that says, “I love this person enough to wear this pink thing, thinking of them.”
Komen and Revlon and whoever else is doing walks these days are great. I like that people physically push themselves and therein are taking a measure to be healthier themselves. I like that money is raised. I like that hurting people have a constructive place to go and DO something in the name of their hurt (e.g., “I walk in honor of…”).
I feel a little like a minority being asked a question in which the answer is supposed to represent an entire race’s views. But I think most would agree these are some basic, constructive suggestions.Happy October. Here's to finding the cure.