Walk into any store and you are flooded by the beautiful pink ribbons. They grace the lids of yogurt, gum packages, tasty little pink tic-tacs and you can't check out with out knocking over the flood of the pink pens, notebooks, and pink totes that cover the counter. The aisles are filled with pink Save the TA-Ta's shirts, even the famed Duck Dynasty has shirts with pink ribbons on them. The sight of these little pink items says to the consumer, "If you would purchase one of these pink items, then you are helping to find a cure." The question I pose, "Are you really helping the cause."
Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 30 years old. I had always participated in the walks, bought the pink items and felt like I was doing a noble service to those who had fought that horrible battle. Breast Cancer was not necessarily a factor in my family, but cancer was and in my opinion, cancer is cancer regardless of where it was located, so it was my duty to support the cause.
While fighting my battle I found that there was something more difficult than the disease and that was my mind set. My mind and my beliefs controlled everything and if I could just get that under wraps, I could beat this thing. I did just that and I am proud to say that I am a 1 year survivor. So from my ashes I decided to start a support community called SO Hope that celebrated life. We would cheer on our fellow cancer patients and their families that needed our support. I would spread as much inspiration and motivation that I could and show them that they did not have to fight alone. I believe that there was enough foundations, organizations and coalitions fighting to find a cure, so I would just work on the opposite end of that spectrum spreading hope, pushing healthy living and clean eating.
I began doing research on some of these organizations after a friend posted a list of organizations that do not donate nearly as much as they receive to breast cancer research. I was interested to find that everything that has a pink ribbon on it does not support the cause. Some of the organizations that we are pouring all of our money into are not putting that money where it belongs. I was interested to find that the NFL’s “A Crucial Catch” program: Only donates 8.01 percent of the money that the league makes from sales of its pink merchandise, according to a recent report from Business Insider. The ever popular Susan G. Komen foundation only gave 16 percent of the money that it raised in 2011 to research, according to the New York Times Magazine. Which if true, is a very very small amount.
So where is the money going if not to research? That's the question I would like answered. I can't help but feel a bit deceived, because so many people put their faith in these foundations and businesses and to find out that it is even possible that they are not doing the right thing is disheartening. Really changes my perspective about supporting the pink.
As a Breast Cancer survivor I will never stop supporting the pink! However I have learned two valuable lessons: 1. Research, Research, and research know exactly where my dollars are going. 2. In my SO Hope community, do what my mission says I will do.
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