Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pink and Black

It took me a long time, but I finally figured out why October was chosen for "breast cancer awareness" month. There is nothing pink in October - things are turning gold and brown and the air turns cold. If a pink month was to be picked, May, would have fit the bill.

But, just like October, there is nothing pink about breast cancer either. It isn't frilly, pretty, delicate or particularly feminine. So why is October "our" month?

Halloween.

All hallow's eve. The night before All Soul's Day, a day honoring the dead. Now I get it.

In the 31 days of this year's pink hell month, I personally know of five women who have died from breast cancer. Five women who won't be answering the door tonight handing out treats. Five women who won't be fixing costumes and drawing cat whiskers on their child's face. Five women who were given a pink ribbon last October to make sure they were "aware" of breast cancer. Trust me. They didn't need reminding. The families they left behind won't ever forget.

This year, as you hand out your miniature sized Snickers bars, think about what is the real truth of breast cancer awareness month...

We do need to make sure that women know to get early mammograms and follow-up appointments. But we do not need to fatten the bottom line of gigantic corporations who hijack breast cancer and use it as a marketing tool to sell more product by simply slapping a pink ribbon on the box.

When you give to a cause, really know where it is going to. What will they use the money for? Who benefits? How much did they spend on the ad campaign in comparison to how much actually is donated.

Our cure is out there. It is in a research lab right now. Support direct research. Support those organizations that directly benefit women enduring breast cancer treatment. If you are going to buy a pink pot holder, buy it because you like the color, because the majority of pink merchandise is not benefiting breast cancer, it is an advertising ploy.

It is hard to look at the mock grave yards set up in neighbor's front yards when you remember how many women have been buried this year. Halloween has made Breast Cancer Awareness month real. Finally.

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