“Big or Small, Let’s Save Them All”
This was what I was bombarded with as I walked with my family at my first Race for the Cure.
Don’t get me wrong…..I’m grateful for the men, women, (and yes, children) wearing the shirts with these words written upon them. I’m grateful for the money they’ve raised in the hopes of a cure. I’m saddened if they have experienced a horrible diagnosis or loss.
But the message they send…….I’m Offended.
There, I’ve said it.
This fight isn’t about saving “tatas”, it’s about saving lives.
Trust me, I wouldn’t want to lose any part of my body to a disease, but this is so much more than that.
I recall a few years ago, a dear friend of mine was fund-raising for Juvenile Diabetes, something that is so personal to her. I remember in her email, she commented about how Juvenile Diabetes wasn’t a “sexy” disease that got a lot of attention…..referring of course to breast cancer.
I admit that at first I was offended….it was a gut reaction. But I know what she’s referring to…..all the campaigns for breast cancer that are more sexual in nature. And there are plenty of them……Save the Tatas, Feel your Boobies, etc. They do get attention.
As a blogger, I’ve been pitched by PR for certain breast cancer type campaigns. And declined. Some of these organizations raise a lot of money. The story behind their creation at times are devastating. Sometimes they are trying to find humor in a bad situation.
I get that. I really do.
But, there is nothing sexy about breast cancer.
There was nothing sexy about my mom crying as my Dad shaved her head once clumps began falling out.
There was nothing sexy about seeing her beg for “no more” after her first chemo week.
There was nothing sexy about watching her suffer.
There was nothing sexy about watching them remove her from life support.
Chemo took her life. Cancer changed ours.
My Daughter and Nephew
My 5 year old daughter and 7 year old nephew, along with countless other children, see those messages. That’s not the message that I want them to focus on.
They walked for their Grandma that day. They walked in the hopes that they don’t ever have to lose their own mother to breast cancer. They walked in the hopes that there is a cure one day soon.
They didn’t walk to save the tatas. They walked to save lives.
There is a difference.
(Please join me as I continue to talk about breast cancer this month in memory of my own mother, who lost her life at the young age of 55.) – Updated from original publishing in 2011