Raw October: raising breast cancer awareness — one fact, figure, feeling, and photograph at a time.
Every October, I receive emails from marketing people trying to push their pink products. “Please help us promote our pink this and our pink that, and we’ll give you a pink this and a pink that as a token of thanks,” say the folks who promise to give a percentage of proceeds to the breast cancer cause. Maybe they do donate money to research; maybe they don’t. I have no way of telling, really, but I do know that the percentage is usually not enough to make a huge difference, and it’s always capped at some strategic amount. Plus, I’m almost certain the companies stand to make a pretty profit for their pink projects. Sometimes, they even peddle pink items that are not all that healthy for women trying to prevent or beat breast cancer (think alcohol and fried chicken).
This year, I declined all pink offers, and I devoted each October day to something breast-cancer real and breast-cancer raw. I shared sobering statistics, fantastic cancer findings, transcripts of interviews with my growing boys who don’t even remember my disease (here and here), photos of lost hair, and graphic images of scars and surgery.
My intention over the past month was to offer you an honest peek into the world of breast cancer. I want you to see that breast cancer can be crazy scary, but it can also be enlightening and happy. My ultimate goal was to pass on just one nugget of information that may help you or someone you know or love who will one day fight breast cancer. I could have given you a link to a discount on a cute pink bathrobe and fuzzy slippers, but I think what I gave you — a little bit of knowledge and a whole lot of hope — is even better. I hope you agree.