…but it makes big corporate sponsors see green.
As most of you are “aware”, breast cancer awareness month is upon us. But the reason you won’t find this breast cancer survivor touting “pink” on my blog is that pink has been corrupted. The beautiful ribbon that connected breast cancer survivors together and signified hope has been taken over by big business. The pink ribbon is now splashed across endless products from toasters to handguns and from pepper spray to canned soup.
The ones that really get me fired up are the companies that produce cancer causing products and then also profit off of women who get cancer. Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals is one. This pharmaceutical company who produces rBGH, a growth hormone given to cows (rBGH is linked to breast cancer), also manufactures Gemzar, a chemotherapy agent and Evista , a drug that reduces risk of breast cancer in high risk women. You have to admit, they’re crafty and smart if nothing else.
I am all for companies supporting research and funding mammograms for those who don’t have access to them. But mammograms don’t seem to be saving lives (even though I still would recommend one to all women) and the funds happily donated don’t always go into the hands of the researchers. Companies who make products that you purchase to “support awareness” may never give a dime to any breast cancer organization. Their reasoning is that just by putting a pink ribbon on the product, they are raising “awareness”.
Thanks. I think we’re all “aware” now.
Things haven’t really changed much since my original post on the subject 3 years ago. And despite all the awareness and billions of dollars raised, the incidence of breast cancer and the death rates have barely budged. Women die of stage 4 breast cancer, (stage 4 is when the cancer has spread to another body part) not 0,1,2, or 3, and 30% of women who have the earlier stages will go on to develop stage 4. Yet less than 3% of all breast cancer funding goes towards stage 4 research.
As I posted in a previous post, if you want to donate to breast cancer research, please investigate your charity carefully. Charity Navigator is a great tool for that. And please don’t buy the pink darth vader sculpture because you want to support breast cancer research. Give directly to the charity and let Hasbro Toys get rich some other way. (Unless you truly want this amazing piece of art)
Or better yet, do something nice for someone you know who is going through treatment. (If you don’t know anyone, you’re lucky.) Every town has a cancer outreach program. I encourage you to search yours out and contact them to do some volunteering. They usually have meal programs for patients who need help. A home cooked meal is like a Godsend to someone with a family who is going through treatment. If you don’t cook, you can mow their lawn, drive them to a treatment, make them a cozy blanket (chemo makes you cold) or just be their company.
This post is not to discourage you to give. Rather, it’s to encourage you to give wisely. Don’t get caught in the advertising trap. Here’s to your survival….of Pinktober!