Every October, like clockwork, the streets change color: gone are the trappings of summer, the last of the beach toys and the back-to-school frenzies. Bright August hues become the orange, brown, and tan earth tones of autumn. The weather cools, the kids ease into their classwork, the leaves start to change. And while families roll out the pumpkins, the scarecrows, and the Halloween props, another color begins to appear. Pink ribbons take over streets, schools, and businesses, a reminder to do a little good.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While big organizations, charities, and institutions often take the lead in organizing events and fundraisers, there are so many ways that you can use your voice to pitch in as well.
- Talk to your doctor about breast exams and screenings – how to conduct a self-exam at home, when to start coming in for screenings, and what warning signs to look for. Reminding your friends to do the same might save a life one day.
- Organize a run, a drive, or a competition – if you’ve got a flair for planning events, or even if you just love healthy competition, organizing a local event can drum up awareness and proceeds – not to mention fun. How about a race? A cupcake bake-off? A clothing donation drive? Maybe some local businesses will be willing to pitch in some worthy prizes for a good cause. After some careful research, choose a charity for breast cancer research, survivors, or other related groups that can use your help.
- Tell the story of a survivor you know, or someone who lost their life to the disease – about one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s very likely that someone you know is a breast cancer survivor. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a teacher, or a coworker, they have a story to tell about living with cancer, or about someone they love who they lost to it. Making sure that those around you see those with breast cancer as people rather than statistics means that they’ll be more likely to take preventative measures themselves, or give to groups that can help.
Do you or someone you love have a story about living with or surviving breast cancer? Tell it on HearMeOut to get the word out this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.