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?
Originally posted on Toddler Planet January 12, 2010