Breast Cancer - A Fight We Must Win
"When we take a look at the budget for the National Institutes of Health...it is, candidly, scandalous that with our resources, our research capability in biomedical science, that people are still dying of breast cancer." Senator Arlen Specter
Wanton acts resulting in wholly preventable deaths make me so angry I could spit. Protesting against them is critical. But in some cases, no matter what you say or do, the reality is that money talks.
I have no family serving in Iraq and I didn't lose anyone close to me on Sept 11, 2001. But like all of us, I've lost my share of loved ones in my lifetime. As brave Americans protest the rising body count in Iraq and we all review with horror recently released documents about our government's culpability in failing to prevent the 9/11 attacks, I am angered anew. But I am also stirred by my own memories of personal loss -- and I am desperate to DO something.
So it feels appropriate and timely to advocate a national effort to prevent death and disaster from another source -- Breast Cancer. To help those fighting the disease get the adequate care they deserve, and to ask for your support in those efforts.
Last month, I talked about my family's fight with Breast Cancer and noted that another one of my sisters had just begun to battle the disease. It hasn't gone so well. Today she is having a mastectomy.
It's far too commonplace a story: an anomaly found on a routine mammogram, surgery to remove the offending cells, then more surgery to clean up the margins, and finally, when all else fails, a mastectomy. We haven't lost her, thank God, and we pray for the best, but--just as in a war, or under the threat of terrorist attacks--there are no guarantees.
I mean no disrespect to the victims and families of the horrendous 9/11 and Iraqi War tragedies by directing attention to the fight against Breast Cancer -- but rather am seeking a way to make a meaningful contribution toward a battle to save other lives.
It's been said, usually as a cruel joke, that if men had breasts, there would already be a cure for breast cancer. I find it ironic that the extent of breast worship among males hasn't had the same effect. But men still rule the world and control the research dollars. And until it happens--God forbid--to their own wives, daughters, mothers or sisters, they'll continue to spend more in a month on erectile dysfunction drugs than in a year on breast cancer research.
So it's up to those of us who get it to dig deep and come up with the necessary funds to stop this disfiguring, devastating, often fatal disease.
In honor of my sisters Betsy and Nan, my Aunt June and Cousin Kathy, my dear friend Mary and her sisters -- and in memory of Ma Mere, Mildred, MaryAnn, Lillian, Bobbie and my mother-in-law Jenneth Swift, I make this plea today:
Support The Fight Against Breast Cancer
The US Post Office
The US Postal Service sells Fund the Cure stamps to help fund breast cancer research. The stamps were designed by Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Maryland, and contain the phrases, "Fund the Fight" and "Find a Cure" with an illustration of a mythical "goddess of the hunt" by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore.
Instead of 37 cents, this stamp costs 45 cents. The additional 8 cents goes to breast cancer research. A book of stamps costs $7.40. A book of Fund the Cure stamps is only $9.00. If you can you spare an extra $1.60, you'll help save countless lives. To date, the stamp has raised more than $37 million for breast cancer research.
Masterfoods (a subsidiary of Mars Inc.) has renewed its promotion to donate 50 cents to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation for every package of specially produced pink and white M&Ms sold, up to a maximum donation of $650,000. Got a sweet tooth? Help save lives while you indulge it.
More tomorrow about the fight against Drive Through Mastectomies.
For today, pray for my sister, please.