As October begins, there is no doubt you are seeing pink everywhere. Aside from pinning a pink ribbon on your fall jacket, here are a few things you can do to REALLY support those affected by breast cancer.
There are walks, fundraisers and events going on all across the country for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. But as many breast cancer patients will tell you, they do not need more awareness they need more support, more research, a cure. While you may not be able to give all of these things, you can give your time. If you have a friend or family member dealing with breast cancer, ask them what you can do. Can you take them to dinner, bring them a meal, sit with them during treatment? Offering your time and acknowledging the fight these brave women are facing can be the most treasured gift you can give.
Pink is everywhere this month. Breast cancer survivor and advocate AnneMarie Ciccarella of Chemobrain says, "The most important thing that people can do is take CARE when spending money or making donations. If they are buying something with a ribbon thinking they are doing something, they must understand that the ribbon is not regulated." Unfortunately some companies are coloring everything pink but not necessarily donating to the cause. "Transparency is VERY important... if someone is selling a ribbon item they should know two things: How much of the purchase is being donated and where is the donation being sent." adds Ciccarella.
If you are unable to donate this month, there are many other ways you can support the cause. You can register to volunteer with Army of Women or you can sign up for The Health of Women study, a groundbreaking research project just launched by the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. If you are still looking for ideas, call your local hospital. Maybe their cancer patients could use a few new books to read or they would appreciate a donation of clothing or something else you have right in your home.
Do you know your own risk factors for breast cancer? Have you had your latest mammogram or do you need to get one for the first time? Now is the day to make that appointment. Make sure those around you are taking care of themselves too. If you know someone who is elderly, make sure they are keeping up on their yearly exams and offer to make them an appointment or drive them if necessary. Education and prevention are the best gifts we can give ourselves.
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