So for those of you who don't know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you were wondering why NFL players were sporting hot pink skull caps, wrist bands, towels and cleats yesterday, it's because they too, are promoting the cause. This is a cause that became near and dear to me when I was still in college. The mother of the guy I was dating was several years into her battle with breast cancer when we met - at the Race for the Cure in Lexington. My interest piqued, I got involved with the local affiliate through the Office of Community Service at my alma mater, Transylvania University. I started out by helping coordinate volunteers for the annual Race for the Cure. Six years later, I am in my final year of coordinating volunteers for our 15th Annual Race for the Cure and I wanted to take a moment to implore you to do a few things...because I'm greedy and because I care about our readers.
- Know your risk. There are many risk factors for developing breast cancer, so educate yourself. Also, don't assume if you are young, male (insert other demographic here) that you are immune. Breast cancer affects both men and women and is showing up in younger and younger people.
- Know your breasts. You are your first line of defense. Do monthly breast self-exams and follow up with your doctor when you notice changes.
- GET MAMMOGRAMS!
- Support breast cancer research. I am partial to the Komen foundation and will be happy to tell you all about why you should support this particular organization (75% of the funds raised stay in the local service area, 5-stars from Charity Navigator, contributed more than $1.5 billion to research and has developed educational materials that reach into 200 countries, etc.)
- Touching off on that last one - do the Race for the Cure! Or donate! Or volunteer! No really, volunteer. I'll make sure it's really fun for you.
Wrapping up, if you're in Lexington and if you haven't participated in the Race for the Cure, you're really missing out. It is one of the most magical experiences and a true celebration of hope for all those battling breast cancer. We'll be at Centre Pointe the morning of October 15th, if you want to join us in working toward a world without breast cancer.