Every October, we celebrate the courage and enduring spirit of those affected by breast cancer. A month-long dedication to patients and survivors, it’s headlined by the color pink. Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in the United States, affecting nearly 260,000 each year. Every year events fill social calendars and corporate giving campaigns. From hosting a pink out party or a 5K to raise awareness and funs to pinning pink ribbons on your everyday attire or wearing any of the available T-shirts that support breast cancer awareness, you too can spread awareness of the disease that affects nearly 1 in 8 women.
Ladies Who Learn
Efforts of the last thirty years have raised a considerable amount of awareness for breast cancer. Metastatic cancer research often receives a substantially smaller amount of funding than that of early-stage research, despite being the deadliest form of breast cancer. Most charitable contributions raised on behalf of breast cancer awareness are allocated to non-clinical research initiatives, making it all the more crucial to find an organization laying the medical groundwork for brighter future prognoses. Organizations like Stand Up To Cancer and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation are on the front lines of clinical-based research.
Lunch for a Cause
Put awareness into action by hosting a fundraising luncheon in honor of the survivors in your life. Curate a casual and comforting outdoor setting that fosters a supportive atmosphere. Decorate your luncheon in hues of pink. Chair covers, table covers, and other patio furniture covers embellished with personalized messages inspire hope and bravery in the fight against cancer. A relaxed setting also allows brave warriors to share their experiences with both battling breast cancer and life as a survivor in remission. Hearing a firsthand account of a survivor’s experience helps arm women with the crucial facts they need for taking preventive measures, finding resources for diagnosis, and discovering the tools to combat this disease. Thinking pink will pave the way for your guests to make generous contributions to the research organization of your choosing.
You can make a difference in the life of a cancer patient without ever meeting them. How? Every community has a group of oncologists and nurses who may be willing to accept clothing donations. When the burden of breast cancer strikes, the last thing anyone should be worried about is what they’re going to wear. Contact a nearby chemo center and inquire about the needs of any patients receiving treatment there. Organize a clothing drive will help them immensely.
Another idea? A pinked-out fashion show sponsored by local boutiques. Invite survivors of breast cancer to be your models - pampering them with the glitz and glamour typically reserved for supermodels of the world. In addition to accepting donations, perhaps organize a raffle and ask attendees of the big show to bring along a bag of quality clothes they don’t mind parting with, assuring all that they will find a meaningful second life in a new home. Master the ceremony with testimonials that inspire progression toward a cure.
Crafting handmade cards for breast cancer patients receiving treatment at local chemo centers is an inspirational project the whole family can get in on. A card with a heartfelt message can brighten the day of someone dealing with what may be the toughest battle of their life. Family members of all ages can personalize cards with touches of pink in coordination with the thematic motif of October before sealing them in a eucalyptus-scented envelope with a classic wax stamp. Contact oncology staff to ensure your random act of kindness is handled per both safety and privacy guidelines of the facility.
Write the Wrongs
Before putting your pen and paper away, consider writing a formal letter to your congressman, advocating on behalf of more substantial funding for patient support programs. While private organizations like the American Cancer Society focus on supporting patients during their fight, changes over the last decade have made it substantially more difficult for patients to acquire treatment and affordable medications. Addressing these concerns in a letter may make you uncomfortable, but congressional staffers are eager to hear from and stay connected with constituents. Be forthright in your purpose and steadfast in your effort. This is how inspiration becomes action in the fight against breast cancer.
Many patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer face the adversity of immobility, experiencing both physical and mental strains on health as a result of their new normal. These challenges are only exacerbated by the burden of finding accessible transportation to and from medical appointments. This October, organize a pink color run in your community to raise money for organizations that provide breast cancer patients with vehicular support during their battle, like the American Cancer Society’s Road To Recovery program. Clear your color run on local streets with your local municipality and map it out using custom tarps and banners, passing by survivors of breast cancer in celebration of ringing the bell on this devastating disease. Obtain corporate sponsorships to match the funds you raise, doubling the donation haul.
Donating your hair to an organization that sews and styles wigs for breast cancer patients is one of the most supportive gestures possible. Hair donation requires length of about ten inches with a thick, luminous texture. Consult with a stylist at your beauty shop before giving your locks the big chop, ensuring that they have the measuring tools on hand to make certain your hair isn’t too short or too fine. Contact representatives at an organization like Locks of Love to find the specific requirements for how your hair should be processed. Finally, encourage your friends and family with luscious locks to join you in this actionable inspiration. An entire afternoon can lead to a grand donation with the hairdresser of your choosing, a pair of styling shears, and your close group of friends.