This is Kaylee when she was 8 years old. A precious, wonderful child, full of life and love. She was in the third grade, a straight-A student, very social with a lot of friends. A beaten up pair of roller blades was always laying in front of the hall closet and her bike helmet had too many dents and scratches to make any mother comfortable.
This was also the age that my husband, Gregg lost his mother to breast cancer.
So many things have happened in Kaylee’s life since she was 8. So many times, she’s had to turn to me for guidance, instruction, a hug, correction — and I’ve been there for her at every turn. I can’t imagine not having been there for her, I can’t imagine her not having had me.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be over 192,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2009. Perhaps one of them will be you, or your mother, or your favorite aunt.
In July, I had the honor of working with a group of women at the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk 2009 kick-off in Boston, MA. This group of women have chosen the name, Your Girls and Mine, and have made fund raising for breast cancer research a part of their life. They walked the 3-Day walk in Washington, D.C. in 2008, worked Boston in July 2009, and will be walking again in Washington D.C. this coming weekend. In order to walk, they each had to raise a minimum of $2300, and in amazing and wonderful ways, they did. You can read one team member’s journey here.
In the last fifteen years, Susan G. Komen foundation has donated more than $1 billion to breast cancer research. This was done through the grass-roots efforts of such women as those that make up the Your Girls and Mine team. If nothing else, that staggering number should make you realize how many people are affected by breast cancer. Almost everyone I worked with in Boston had been touched personally by cancer.
Because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’d like to encourage you to do the following:
- Order a free breast self exam shower card here. Use it. Select a day once a month to do a self-exam.
- Find a buddy and remind each other to do your breast exams. The earlier detection, the more likely a positive outcome.
- Read what you can about breast cancer. Take five minutes every day this month and go to a trusted website and read. Here are a few suggestions: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The American Cancer Society
- Donate what you can to a trusted charity that is raising money for breast cancer research. If you can’t afford a donation, buy some Yoplait yogurt with the pink lid or a specially marked bag of pink M&M’s.
- Pick one day while you’re out and about this month and wear a pink ribbon to honor those who have fought and lost and those who continue fighting. If someone asks you what the ribbon is for, tell them.
- Pray. Pray every day this month for healing and for knowledge to fight this battle.
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