We all know that pink is the color for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
- Pink ribbons, inside and outside, on cupcakes, in your hair
- Pink lights wrapped around trees and in the branches
- The Gateway Arch in St. Louis turned pink
- Runners with pink shirts, and pink hats, racing for the cure
- Even the White House was turned pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- October is the month to “think pink” for breast cancer awareness
You may also know a few statistics. About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. About 30,000 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2014 from breast cancer. A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a mother, sister, or daughter who has been diagnosed with it. A man’s lifetime risk for breast cancer is 1 in 1,000. But, it’s more than the statistics.
You may know a few people who’ve had it and survived. Some of us may have fought it ourselves. Some may have loved ones that lost the fight. Breast cancer awareness always starts with knowing people and their individual stories.
“Cancer reminds you to never take those you love for granted.”
Candie K. (Age 63, breast cancer survivor) recalls her early days after her diagnosis. “Dr. Souders gave me advice that I will never forget, ‘The women who have the best outcomes are those who are proactive and find out as much as they can about this disease so they can make intelligent decisions regarding their treatment options.’ I took his advice to heart and spent many hours reading about breast cancer treatment options. I also found out that cancer reminds you to never take those you love for granted.”
“In the worst year of my life I experienced some of the best moments.”
Christine C. was diagnosed with cancer at age 58 and was “the proud Mimi to 4 beautiful granddaughters, lucky mother of 2 beautiful daughters and 2 wonderful stepdaughters.” She got the phone call on December 22 of 2008 and wondered if this would be the last Christmas she would celebrate with her family. But, by December 26th she vowed to fight cancer for all she was worth. Surgeries, chemo and radiation filled 2009 for Christine. “I can honestly say that in the worst year of my life I experienced some of the best moments…I firmly believe the support of other survivors was critical to my recovery.”
“I vowed to beat it and help others beat it.”
When Sherrie G. was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40, she vowed to beat it, and then do everything in her power to help others beat it, too. Eventually, Sherry was able to meet that goal. She recalls her early struggles with the disease that took 5 years to beat. Her sons were 8 and 10 at the time of her diagnosis, and she felt like the power went out in her life. “When the power goes out, all that we took for granted is no longer. It is hard to get around, you are uneasy, and your senses are disturbed. It is dark, and I was sad and confused.” Sherry later became a volunteer for the American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery Program and a member of the Executive Committee for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in Philadelphia. She was recently awarded the Jefferson Award for Public Service.
“I fought for myself, my children, and for every woman out there.”
Teresa T. was 40 when she was diagnosed with Stage 3A Triple Negative Breast Cancer. She endured a sentinel node dissection, 12 rounds of chemotherapy, hair loss, bilateral mastectomy, implant replacement and 34 radiation treatments. In the midst of the treatment process, her marriage crumbled. But Teresa has words of encouragement for others: “Let this story be an inspiration for every woman out there who is fighting to regain her life and feel normal again. I fought for myself, my children, and for every woman out there who is rebelling against the ravages cancer can have on your body, mind, and spirit. I’m here to say you CAN regain your life, be happy and move forward. FIGHT on ladies—we are warriors!”
So, think pink is to show our support for the survivors, the warriors, the women (and men) who have been touched by the disease.
Think pink is to raise awareness of breast cancer to encourage regular programs for screening (both self-exams, mammograms, and more).
It is to increase public awareness so that there will be more funding for research and treatment.
Pink LED holiday (Christmas) lights are a beautiful way to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The lights can be wrapped around a tree trunk and through the branches for a strong show of support. They can decorate the outside of your workplace or church. They can be used inside as a quiet meditation for a loved one who is struggling. Holiday LEDs has pink spotlights, pink icicle lights, pink spheres, pink minis, pink tree trunk wrap, pink net lights, pink rope lights, and more.
Join us this October in showing support for Breast Cancer Awareness. Think pink in any of the ways mentioned here. The worst you can do is not think about it at all.