PINKtober (10/4/2017)

PINKtober

October is quickly upon us, and soon everything will be decorated in the color pink. You will see towns across America transform into a frenzy of pink flags, pink storefronts and many people sporting their favorite sports attire in pink. Before you dress your youth soccer player head to toe in pink or before you put on that pink New York Giants hat, ask yourself, “Why AM I wearing this? How have I made a difference in the life of a breast cancer patient today?”

Maybe you wear pink in memory of a friend or relative who fought breast cancer. Maybe you honor someone you know who has passed away from breast cancer. Perhaps you just really like the color pink. I ask you to change your action this October. Instead of just wearing pink clothing items and accessories to spread awareness, how about pledging to make a donation to the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation each time you wear something pink. It could be as little as putting $1 in a jar each day and at the end of the month donating it to TBBCF where 100% of your donation goes directly to breast cancer research. You may be thinking that when you bought said pink item that you already made a donation to a breast cancer foundation, but have you ever researched that foundation to know exactly how much of that purchase was going to directly impact the life of a patient with breast cancer? I encourage you to wear your pink attire, but I ask you to take it one step further and put your dollar where it matters the most, research grants made possible by TBBCF.

I wear and have always worn a LOT of pink and, yes, most items have a pink ribbon on them. Even prior to my own diagnosis, I always thought of the purchase of a pink ribbon item as a way of supporting patients. What I never realized is that though these stores are full of pink ribbon items, I really didn’t know much about breast cancer at all.

I’ve recently thought about how very limited my knowledge of breast cancer was prior to my own diagnosis. I now realize that there is a lot of misunderstanding about breast cancer. Did you know there is NO CURE for breast cancer, despite what you may find on the Internet? You can’t just rub some magic oil on your skin and POOF your cancer is gone…trust me, I’ve tried. Did you know that there are eight different kinds of breast cancers, four different known hormone/protein receptors, nine different stages of breast cancer (yes NINE; 0, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 3C, and 4), and over 70 different gene expressions (such as BRCA1 and BRCA2) that could possibly determine if a breast cancer is likely to occur or reoccur? Did you know that every breast cancer diagnosis contains all four of these components? If you have never stared at a breast cancer diagnosis yourself, then this is probably all Greek to you. I urge you to find a reputable resource and educate yourself about breast cancer. When someone says to me their grandmother had breast cancer and that she is fine, you will be fine too, makes me wonder if they really know their grandmother at all. It’s like saying that I am like every other brown haired person in the world. Not all breast cancer patients are the same.

As you reach for that pink ball cap, pink socks, or even the pink-labeled yogurt container, take a moment to think about how you can make a bigger impact in the lives of all breast cancer patients by donating to TBBCF where every dollar raised goes directly to breast cancer research. Wear your pink and wear it proudly knowing that you made the honest effort in helping to end this turmoil by finding a cure! You can donate here: https://www.tbbcf.org/

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