It’s that time of year again. October. Pinktober. The time of year that America and the world is supposed to “celebrate” breast cancer, bring awareness to the disease and get every woman to touch their boobs. And, while we’re at it, buy a few pink things to support the cause.
But do me a favor. Do not buy a pink toaster, kitchen aid, pen, purse, drink, lipstick, donut or bagel for me. Do not buy a pink bra, t-shirt, socks, boa or scarf to show your support. Please, do not buy a pink car, bucket of fried chicken, gun (yes, there are pink guns people!!!!), perfume, football, stiletto or nail polish because you think it’s helping. In the grand scheme of things, it’s probably not.
I know you are buying these things because you are a good person and you are trying to help and why not get something cute you can show off while you’re at it? I get it. I do! You’re heart is in the right place. But when you buy these things, you need to ask, “where is this money really going and how much of it is spent on research?” Breast Cancer Action has four questions you should be asking and they are good ones. So if you really want that pink thing you found at your local shop, take a look at these questions to ask first.
- Does any money from this program go to breast cancer products? How much?
- What organization will get the money? What will they do with the funds? How do these programs turn the tide of the breast cancer epidemic?
- Is there a “cap” on the amount of money you will donate? Has this amount already been met?
- Does this purchase put you or someone you know at risk to toxins linked to breast cancer?
If after asking all of these questions you still want to buy something “pink” because of how it makes you feel, go for it. At least you’ve done your research. But I urge you to also donate directly to organizations that are working to cure metastatic breast cancer or that are providing essential services to those who are going through treatment or have finished active treatment. Which ones, you ask? Well, there are a lot and my goal is to feature as many of them as possible in the month of October.
In this post, I’d like to feature organizations that I have personally used that I am eternally grateful for. They are not researchers. They are not going to cure the disease. But they make living with breast cancer a little more tolerable. I hope that you can give any amount to their cause because they have helped so many women like myself. What they do is nothing short of extraordinary.
Mission: To provide medical, wellness and beauty services to women under the age of 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or have tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation. We focus on a woman’s whole being in order to empower, foster hope and improve the quality of life for women in the face of this disease.
The organization was started by Jennifer Finkelstein, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32, 2 months before her wedding day. The organization focuses on working with women who were diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40 or have test positive for the BRCA gene mutation. The money they receive goes toward services like medical (mammograms, lymphedema support, nipple tattoos, medical massage therapy), wellness (personal training, yoga, nutrition) and beauty (quality wigs, makeup, scarves). The organization also holds support groups with leaders in the field such as nutritionists, oncologists, makeup artists, lymphedema specialists and more.
5 Under 40 helped to fund my very expensive lymphedema therapy and I have been to countless support group sessions. I find the services they provide invaluable and have seen first hand the impact they have had on dozens of young women. Please donate!!!!
Mission: “To help maintain the dignity, confidence and self-esteem of those affected by medical hair loss.”
Hair We Share makes custom wigs for men, women and children who suffer from medical hair loss. This can be from cancer treatment, for alopecia or due to a trauma. The organization relies solely on hair and monetary donations.
Hair we Share generously donated a wig for me and I was ever so grateful. Please consider making a donation in any dollar amount that you can afford. Or, if you are considering donating your hair, this would be a great organization to consider.
Hidden Warriors mission has many levels and goals that I invite you to read here but it’s main goal is to use costume and makeup role play as a way to empower women who have undergone cancer treatment. Women dress up as “warriors” with over the top head pieces, costumes, fantasy makeup and then do a photo shoot while holding a power pose and listening to music that the warrior finds empowering.
I participated in their workshop last winter and it was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in a long time. What they do is truly unique and the director is passionate about empowering women to find the warriors within themselves as a way to help fight the disease and live a more positive lifestyle after treatment (or during treatment).
They are trying to do as many of these workshops as possible but need donations to make it happen. If you would like to donate, your money would be going to a worthwhile cause.