The beginning of breast cancer awareness month, the month where all survivors and people going through treatment are hit with a visual and verbal reminder every minute of every day about cancer.
I understand that the medical and nonprofit professions want heightened awareness regarding the disease breast cancer, but being hit with it in the face every single day combined with the onslaught of everyday products that suddenly turned pink and let us not forget the ubiquitous pink crappy bracelets, it’s just sensory overload.
I am wearing a pink t-shirt today. Not because it is the start of breast cancer awareness month, but because it looks cute with the rest of the outfit I am wearing.
I have worked really hard since my diagnosis, and some days quite frankly it’s a struggle to stay positive. Being barraged with a month-long rapid-fire onslaught of all things breast cancer, isn’t necessarily a positive thing in my opinion.
And truly, what will it also mean? It means you will see celebrity survivors all month-long, versus real women dealing with the every day of this disease good and bad.
Thus far the only celebrity who has had breast cancer that I have seen handle it all with reality and grace (plus self-deprecating humor actual survivors can relate to is actress Kathy Bates. Yet who do I see first thing this morning? The bobble headed Giuliana Rancic. And of course she is launching what else…a line of garbage we don’t need to own for Loft called….what else? “Live in Pink” (I read about this in The NY Daily News .)
Ok so people will undoubtedly be reading this and say I am being unnecessarily harsh, but look at the fine print on these must have items for October as the world temporarily turns Pepto Bismol pink – look and see HOW much money is actually being donated to breast cancer charities and breast cancer research.
In Giuliana Rancic’s case it is 25%. As a matter of fact you see that a lot. Just check out the NY Daily News article today - they urge women everywhere to:
“Shop for a cause today and all month-long with our guide to stylish and charitable pink products that benefit organizations dedicated to fighting the disease.”
You know what I urge? If you feel it in your bones to donate to breast cancer research, or a charity that helps women pay for treatment, helps them get through emotionally and physically, by all means donate. Check the charity you are considering out with Guide Star and your state’s charity office and donate DIRECTLY. Donating directly means the charity gets 100% of your donation.
When you buy whipped up pink products, only a portion goes to the charity, and if you read all the fine print you will also see that if you wait and buy a pink product when it goes on sale, the deal with the manufacturer is they only donate when the item is full-price.
I am sorry, I just don’t like it when people try to commercially capitalize on the disease called breast cancer. And one other thing, people who have never had breast cancer? Unless you are a medical professional in the field or a family member who has had someone close with the disease, please don’t tell people who have or have had the disease you understand how they feel. Truly, not to be mean, you do not.
Now, below are three charities I think are worth donating directly to. I am not being compensated by them in any way, shape, or form. I point them out because they are a better alternative than just donating to monster charities like Komen. And to them your gift will mean more than it will to a manufacturer when you buy a piece of pink plastic, or a pink box of crackers or whatever.
None of you even asked what October means to me, even as a survivor? Simple. Pumpkins. Pumpkins are happy and fun. Please don’t paint any pink.
And a final word about breast cancer charities today- and this is for new survivors. Don’t be guilted into attending expensive non-profit events you can’t afford post breast cancer. Pay down your bills first. Charity always begins at home.