Think of eight women you know and love. It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with eight. Now, think of women who are simply friends and acquaintances. Women who may have families, children, and other people who love them. Did your list get longer? Ours did.
Here’s a sobering thought to accompany that list: about 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Those who have regular exams will have a better chance of catching it early and beating it, but until a cure is found, we will continue to lose mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends to the disease.
By raising awareness and working towards a cure together, we can be apart in changing these sobering statistics. October is the month set aside for breast cancer awareness, but it is something we should be thinking about year round. Too many women (and men), of all ages, have lost their battle with breast cancer in our area and worldwide.
In their quest to help find a cure, the Blue Ridge affiliate of Susan G. Komen has raised more than 1.5 million dollars for local and national breast cancer programs and research.
Their October ribbon report spotlight features Lisa and her dog, MJ. Lisa and MJ were both diagnosed with cancer in the late months of 2013. Lisa explains when she feels weak she just looks to MJ for motivation, “I have learned so much from MJ. Sometimes I think about my cancer and how I might die. Then, I watch MJ. She wakes up everyday happy. Having cancer does not depress her or ruin her days. So, my advice is to live everyday like MJ!”
Lisa is one of many people living with breast cancer, and every penny donated, every hour volunteered, every mile walked is one step closer to finding a cure. That means every person giving whatever they can is contributing to a day when Lisa does not have to think about her cancer and the chance that she could lose her fight. They are helping her work towards happiness and hope– and another day to wake up happy, like MJ.
If you or someone you love are facing a similar battle and have questions or concerns, you are encouraged to call 1877-GO-KOMEN, a free breast cancer hotline offering professional support. For those wishing to donate their time or money to finding a cure, please visit www.komen.org.
Written by Kristi Hall