In 1985, American Cancer Society and the Imperial Chemical Industries teamed up to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer. In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies, founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its symbol, but the pink ribbon was not the first time used. In 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation had handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.
There were many opportunities to participate in an event in our area. My favorite is Bras Across The Bridge where you pay $20 and bring a new bra to donate. All proceeds go to people that are in need of mammograms. Not only do women attend, but kids, and men. All with their bras on the outside of their clothing. All dressed in pink, tutus, Mardi Gras beads, and full-on crazy fun.
I have a girlfriend Janet, who is a breast cancer survivor. Four years, cancer free. Janet’s story is everything NOT to do when something is wrong with your body. She did not go to doctors, she did not do self examinations and she did not get mammograms. Janet kept her illness to herself. She hid it from all her family. After years of keeping this to herself, knowing in her heart that it was cancer. It came time to face the fact that she had to go to the hospital. With only her sister by her side she finally went in. Hospital staff was amazed and appalled with what she was to face. Janet said knowing that she was going, gave her the peace of mind and wherewithal to do what she had to do.
She survived a series of chemo, radiation and a mastectomy, then five other surgeries that were not directly related to the cancer but may impact the cancer, were additionally performed. “After every surgery, after every treatment everything went the way it was suppose to, like everyone, including me was in that place at that particular time to work the way it was suppose to. This journey has been a testimony to my beliefs, knowing that when I gave it over to God, he would take care of it.”