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When you live with breast cancer, there is no pink fatigue

Breast cancer awareness efforts make a difference in women's lives

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Many companies, including my own, will donate a percentage of their sales to a breast cancer organization. We actually donate a percentage of all sales every day. During the month of October we double that percentage because we have skin in the game of breast cancer.

I hear rumblings about pink fatigue — people growing tired of the pink products and promotions happening during October — and I don't understand the problem. What is wrong with companies making pink products and donating a percentage or a dollar amount, however small, to a worthy breast cancer organization?

The awareness campaign has been incredibly successful. Most people know that all of the pink in October symbolizes breast cancer. Can you say the same for prostate cancer? How about ovarian cancer? What color flags do these diseases fly?

Yes, some of the product tie-ins seem a bit strange. Yes, the amount donated has been a bit small by some companies. Are they doing it for the goodwill only? Will two cents from a Kentucky Friend Chicken bucket decked out in pink make a difference? Is KFC a good product tie-in for breast cancer?

I believe if people buy more chicken because that two cents is going to breast cancer, so be it. People are going to buy a big bucket of chicken, so why not go for the size that gives a charitable donation? Breast cancer organizations helping women in need appreciate all money sent, no matter what the amount or the source.

I have seen, with my own eyes, the end result of donations from breast cancer donation drives.

Those donations provide hotel vouchers to women who live far from a hospital that can administer their chemotherapy treatments. Women who cannot afford a wig — or a hat or scarf — have cried when they received those items, as a result of fundraising efforts. Women who are so weak they can’t walk to their appointments gratefully accept donations of wheelchairs.

I have seen women get a free screening mammogram as a result of donations, and those screenings can save lives.

So, the next time you hear someone say, "I am sick of all the pink," ignore them or school them. Know that, by the grace of God, you are doing your part to help drive awareness to this insidious disease we call breast cancer.

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