October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a cause I am very passionate about. Back in college when I joined a sorority, I was excited to become part of an organization whose national philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness. But my involvement didn’t end with graduation. I continue to fight against this disease as an alumna. And you should, too. Here are a few ways to show your support – besides wearing pink.
According to BreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop breast cancer in her life. Help shrink that stat by doing a any of these things:
1. Eat Yogurt
Yoplait donates 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure for every pink lid you send in. Over the past 15 years, their Save Lids To Save Lives campaign has raised millions of dollars for breast cancer.
2. Attend An NFL Game
Big, beefy dudes wear pink, too! You’ll see players, coaches and refs in pink game apparel with on-field ribbon stencils, game balls and game coins. Everything will be auctioned off, and the proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates National Grants for Empowerment program. CHANGE provides outreach and breast cancer screenings to women in underserved communities.
3. Walk The Walk
Both Susan G. Komen and Avon sponsor local walks that benefit breast cancer. Whether you’re interested in a 5k or 39-mile 2-day event, you’ll be taking a step in the right direction. I’ve volunteered and participated in Komen’s Race for the Cure for years. And every year I’m overwhelmed by the emotion of being surrounded by survivors and their families.
4. Get Your Pink On
Wear a pink ribbon, pink heels, pink shirt, pink hair. However this girly hue looks best on you, this is the month to flaunt it!
WATCH & READ
A few years ago at my sorority’s annual leadership conference, a fellow alumna and breast cancer survivor gave a speech. She and three other survivors had teamed up to write a book about their experiences. Reading Nordie’s At Noon was like getting a front row seat at what it would be like to have this disease. A few years later I read Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy, another first-person account of how the author was affected by breast cancer. If you truly want to understand this disease, I recommend reading those books, and a few others. Not a bookworm? Check out a few films that deal with the illness instead.
- Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas
- Nordie’s At Noon by Jana Peters, Patti Balwanz, Kim Carlos and Jennifer Johnson
- Promise Me: How A Sister’s Love Launched The Global Movement To End Breast Cancer by Nancy G. Brinker
- Breast Cancer Survivor’s Club: A Nurse’s Experience by Lillie Shockney
- The SCAR Project: Breast Cancer Is Not A Pink Ribbon
- The Family Stone
- Terms of Endearment
- My Breast
- Pieces of April
Financial contributions are always welcome! Do your research before you donate, and choose the organization whose cause directly relates to what you want to accomplish. There’s hundreds to choose from, but here are a few to get you started. Visit their Web sites to learn more.
- Breast Cancer Research Foundation
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer
- National Breast Cancer Foundation
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure
THE POWER OF EARLY DETECTION
This year, more than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. Let October be a reminder to take care of yourself. All women should perform monthly self-breast exams. Women over 40 should get a mammogram once a year. The sooner breast cancer is detected, the sooner you can start to fight it!