Turning awareness to action

There are as many ways to fight cancer as there are types of cancer. You know that. You’ve already been touched by cancer, and your sharp, sharp memories are in many cases what moved over 35,000 of you to read, and 350 of you to comment on my last post. Your words are powerful. As I read the comments, I felt your pain, your frustration, and your triumph in overcoming the wounds left by this beast.

You spoke up, and said YES, I felt this way too. You spoke out and said NO, I loved someone with cancer, and she would have thought this fun. You told us YES, BUT I checked myself for breast cancer.  Awesome. But there was one more comment that was left over and over again:

What action do you propose? I would love to be action and not awareness oriented, but I don’t know how to do that aside from walks and fund-raising. (ShannonP)

Walks and fundraising are fantastic, Shannon.  They’re a wonderful way to show support and raise money to fund tests, provide treatment, and find a cure.  But there were so many other ideas in the comments yesterday — actions that I need to remember too are important, and to do more often.

I challenge everyone reading this today to try one or more of these ideas that readers left.  Comment today, telling us which idea appeals to you, and if you can, please come back and comment again, telling us what you did.

1. Donate. It doesn’t have to be about breast cancer. Donate to your favorite cancer-fighting organization. I like the American Cancer Society and the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, because they work to raise awareness AND fund research to find what causes cancer.

2. Educate. Take a moment and share what you’ve learned.  Call a friend and ask if she’s done her monthly self-exam.  Blog about cancer, and what action you’ll be taking to honor those who we have lost (Oh, Andrea, Lisa, Jenni, Katie, Ursell, and Sue… I miss you and I wish you were here to help).  Write a letter to the editor about the kind of cancer that moves you, and what you thought of the meme.  Post something on your FB page that does raise awareness.  You know your friends.  You know what that might be.

3. Advocate.  If you’ve ever said, “Congress should do something!” you can convince them to do it.  Join the Cancer Action Network for up-to-date information on what bills are pending in the U.S., and how you can take action.

4. Volunteer. Join the Avon Army of Women fighting breast cancer by participating in studies as simple as a questionnaire… and critical in determining the big questions, like who gets breast cancer, and what treatments should be standard.

That’s it.  Donate. Educate. Advocate. Volunteer.  Pick one or all, and I’ll meet you back here to hear what you’ve done to fight cancer.

Which one are you going to try?  Which one have you done lately?


17 Responses to Turning awareness to action

  1. whymommy says:

    I’ll start. I’ve heard of Avon’s Army of Women before, but I haven’t signed up yet. Yesterday’s comments pushed me to check them out, and I’m going to do it. Thanks, Nangald, Nonsequiteuse, and Jo Jo for vouching for the Army of Women, and honoring the 300,000 with and without cancer who already have signed up. They’re recruiting a million women … well, today, I’m going to make that one less.

  2. Kim says:

    These are great ideas but you still haven’t addressed the root issues and how to prevent someone from ever getting the beast. These issues and answers have got to stop being ignored.
    There are reasons people get cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. If we continue to live in denial of that, we will never be healed. And if we continue to ignore the whole person and just treat the symptoms, it will be to our destruction.
    There also has to be integration (an act or instance of combining into an integral whole)of spirit, soul and body. We can’t treat a person’s body, without delving into their emotional state, diet and spiritual health. We must treat the whole package.
    If I am the most physically fit person, eat all the right foods, but have bitterness and unforgiveness, I will still get disease (dis-ease).
    If I am the most pious, forgiving person, but eat tons of processed food and never exercise, I will still get disease.
    If I am a highly educated intellectual, feeding my mind with the latest findings, but totally ignore my spirit, I will still get disease.
    True action is loving each other enough to say, “Let’s dig a little deeper and see what unhealthy issues you may have.” “Let’s look at your diet and see what poisons you are ingesting.”
    It takes a mature person to go that deep, because like an alcoholic, we first have to admit that we have a problem.
    If cancer or other disease runs in your family, that does not mean you have to succumb to it. Generational curses CAN be broken. I am living proof.
    Finally, it’s not enough to get educated and aware, it’s about applying (acting on) the wisdom that is readily available.
    Latch on to Lady Wisdom and be blessed!

    • NYFriend says:

      I agree with Bon’s response to this post. Kim, you have some good points, of course. That if we continue to poison our bodies, our spirits or our world, that will cause us great harm. All too often that is understated. HOWEVER, there are certainly cases where it is out of the person’s control and there wasn’t a damn thing they could have done to have prevented it. I’m not going to go into details of example cases, because this is not the place for you and I to debate. To make it sound as if every case could have been prevented by the person them self is heavy poison to the spirit in a very serious way. I know you mean well, and believe me, I am very passionate about the preventative steps we can take. (Heck I don’t even wear bras anymore for this very reason, in addition to the usual things – organic foods, natural cleaning products, exercise, etc.) But please, be careful with your words on such advice, especially here with our dear friend WhyMommy. She’s a tough lady (is that an understatement or what?!), but she does feel deeply.

  3. LIVESTRONG says:

    We’ll be featuring Dr. Love’s Army of Women on our blog next month. Check it out http://livestrongblog.org. Thanks for pointing her efforts out. Really really great idea.

  4. Tavi Greiner says:

    A positive direction and I love it!

  5. Thank you for this inspiring post – I signed up for Army of Women (which I had not heard of until I read this post), have emailed my friends about Army of Women, and I have also signed up for the “Challenge 1000” – a pledge to raise £1000 for the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity. Wish me luck! 🙂

  6. Bon says:

    the donating…done. self exam…done. reminder to office (after i brought up the fb meme & your last post to do self-exams…done. writing…sorta done. good point. going to check out Army of Women.

    and with all respect, Kim…even children get cancer. it isn’t just bad foods and bitterness and unhealthy spirits. i assume you mean well but laying blame for cancer or suggesting that all who get it have created the conditions for it…that disturbs me. working on prevention through healthy eating and positive living is absolutely valuable, certainly. but you state it in terms that sound as if you think you can actually control who lives and who dies, and i suggest that that’s a very dangerous game to play with yourself, and a hurtful one to play with others.

  7. Stella says:

    I’ve joined the army. And I fully intend to toast with you in 2019!!!!

  8. Sarah says:

    Here in the U.K. (in Bristol, Avon) we run for breast cancer awareness. Its called Race for Life and huge numbers of people turn out every year. The publicity is great for helping raise awareness and the money goes to a great cause.

  9. Fran Kolenik says:

    Here in Massachusetts we have an incredible Bike-a-thon, The Pan Mass Challenge that I rode last year (153 miles) and raised :$4000. I plan to do it again this year. The wonderful thing about this is that all the money raised, 100%, goes to cancer research and funding at Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund and is used for out-of-the box type research that wouldn’t be government funded. It’s challenging and takes a lot of training but well worth it. Also, they allowed me to specify that my particular funds go directly to Woman’s cancers.

    I highly recommend this incredible event to anyone in the area.

    And Kim, I do agree that we need to search for causes of this terrible disease but unfortunately so much is caused by the environment we have grown up in –the air, water, food quality–it’s hard to pin that on individuals. I am one individual who exercised everyday ran,biked, and swam, ate well,treated my fellow man with kindness,did yoga, breast fed my 3 kids and was very spiritual –yet I got her2/neu positve breast cancer which is not genetically inherited but caused by some environmental factor. I am not sure what the answer is but I do believe that much of the money garnered from these events is didcated to finding a cause…I would hope, anyway.

  10. […] Turning awareness to action « Toddler Planet Says: January 12, 2010 at 11:05 am | Reply […]

  11. Dianne says:

    I just posted these URLs in a comment on the other post and then saw this post, where perhaps they belong even more. They are for Breast Cancer Action, an organization that seeks to cut through the pinkwashing and really advocate for women, and for addressing the *causes* of breast cancer.



  12. Rory says:

    I just joined the Army of Women. Thanks for letting people know about it as I hadn’t heard of it before.

  13. Jo Jo says:

    One of the reasons I joined the Love/Avon Army of Women over a year ago is because one of their two stated goals is: “To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.” So they are beginning to address the root issues of breast cancer – not just effective treatment.

    I am going to recruit more Army members by posting something on my Facebook account!

  14. adrianna says:

    Kim – Broad generalizations are usually not helpful.

    I also believe in living a healthful lifestyle, but some diseases ARE NOT preventable: Type 1 (juvenile) diabetes is one.

    My sister was the most conscientious of six siblings as regards to food, exercise etc; yet she died at age 66 from multiple myeloma – a type of bone cancer.

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