Every year, as October comes around, many breast cancer victims like me find themselves inwardly groaning. How can efforts purportedly for our benefit be so tragically off the mark, and even immoral? Yet every year, it seems that the public is somehow transported into a fake pink world of good intentions.
Instead of telling you my particular story, or that of my daughter, I’d like to share some thoughts and facts with you. Perhaps, slowly, we can get the charitable care of cancer victims out of the merchandising field and into the human support arena. Most of all, I urge you to read what I have to say and to “think before you pink”.
1. Breast Cancer — Are We Aware?
Breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis and preventive measures, as well as thorough treatment, are crucial. Fortunately, awareness is at an all-time high. I’d say it’s safe to conclude that, at this point, the whole world is aware of this sexy disease. It’s just so much darn fun to “save the boobies”, name your bra color, or show concern for everyone’s “ta-tas”.
But is it really necessary or helpful at this point? Hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on salaries, advertising gimmicks, and overhead costs for a disease that couldn’t be better known. Is the pinking of food wrappers, kitchen appliances, and football helmets really doing anything tangible for the victims? Or is it a scheme to make us feel good, and generate a slightly salacious giggle, while we lose one more thing to commercialism?
2. How Best to Approach It
There’s a better way to approach this disease and its victims. Going through diagnosis, chemo and/or radiation, mastectomy, and reconstruction is anything but sexy or giggle-worthy. It’s a nightmare that touches the lives of everyone in one way or another. I’ll bet each of you reading this can name a relative or friend who has suffered the ravages of this disease. No amount of pink can alleviate that experience.
The more charitable thing to do would be to address individual victims. They need your help. Drive someone to the doctor or chemo. Visit and hold their hand or clean their house. Have a fundraiser to augment the forgotten costs not covered by insurance and a disappearing savings account. Pray for them, cook meals, or watch their children. These things are true charity and much more appreciated than you’ll ever know.
3. Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society Aren’t Pro-Life
The high-dollar organizations pushing these commercialized efforts might not be who you think they are. They may appear to have wholesome intentions, all wrapped up in pink fluff, but what are they actually doing? Susan G. Komen (SGK) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) support embryonic stem cell research, even though not one single cure has been found in any of the rampant experimentation on these unborn children. Not for any disease.
SGK also colludes with Planned Parenthood (PP), the #1 abortion provider in the nation. They actually gives grants to PP for mammography, a service not a single PP clinic can provide because they don’t have the necessary equipment. PP takes the money from SGK and refers patients to other facilities for mammograms. Why doesn’t SGK simply refer women themselves or give grants to the health departments all over the United States? I’d call that poor stewardship.
Note: Although SGK briefly sought to give funding directly to mammogram providers, pressure from PP and devastating public relations distortions found them reversing their decision three days later. Soon after, the executive in charge of the effort resigned. You see, in the high dollar world of PP, bullying works!
4. Moral Alternatives
Should you find that you do want to contribute to research, find a moral alternative. There are organizations out there, doing valuable research, that don’t buy into the lie of embryonic stem cell research nor collude with abortion clinics. If a cure is found, wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was found by a moral group of scientists who adhere to natural law and respect all life?
Polycarp Research Institute: performs high-quality medical research and serves as a resource center. Research areas are: the link between abortion and breast cancer, the link between oral contraceptives and breast cancer, the post-fertilization effect of emergency contraceptives, and the post-fertilization effects of oral contraceptive.
Breast Cancer Prevention Institute: dedicated to providing the most up-to-date and accurate information to medical professionals and the general public on how to prevent breast cancer. Their on-line publications, as well as their list of other resources, are all designed to provide knowledge of practical, risk-reduction strategies.
National Breast Cancer Foundation®: provides breast cancer information, facts, statistics, symptoms and treatments, early detection, mammography screenings, and breast cancer research from the official non-profit source offering charity donations and corporate sponsorship opportunities for breast cancer.
5. Is Pink the Solution to Breast Cancer?
The pinking of our country by SGK and ACS has become so ingrained into our society that many places of business mentally blackmail their employees into participation. Products come out in customized pink versions and packaging. Even football has become “chickified” by the use of pink helmets.
All of this makes many breast cancer survivors/victims shake their heads in disbelief. The extent to which commercialization has taken place is mind-boggling. Ask yourself, “What does this really have to do with the disease we are purportedly supporting? Is there really a proportionate, tangible benefit to anyone other than the businesses and organizations that profit?
6. Let the Truth Be Your Guide
Yet, when we tell others the unsavory facts, we are often ostracized and looked upon with suspicion. They might argue in disbelief or say our view
is too narrow. Always share the truth anyway — factually, briefly, and gently. Share the truth with faith as your guide. You might be met by strong resistance; but, as long as you’ve planted some seeds, you’ve done your part. After the truth is comprehended and the knee-jerk reaction to argue has abated, you might just have won over another advocate.
Yes, it’s difficult to live in this world and not be affected by it, especially when businesses and work places mentally twist arms. Yet we need to stand firm.
Speaking for myself and many cancer victims like me, I’d never want anyone — especially a precious pre-born child — to die so that I could live. Thank you for standing true to the truth and your faith!
Photography: See our Photographers page.