OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH – Around the world, October is breast cancer awareness month and every one of its 31 days will be used to highlight education, prevention and finding a cure. Pink ribbons, the universal symbol for breast cancer, are a loving tribute to those who are or have already faced this challenge and the friends and family who support them.
Predominately found in women, breast cancer affects 1% of the male population.
Emily Helck was 29 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and prior to starting chemotherapy, she decided to chronicle her days for one year. The result is the video above that is honest, unashamed, encouraging and very real. Having the idea to do such a video is a remarkable one; to follow through on it no matter what your days are like, is inspiring. Her video clearly shows both the good and the bad days, making it one of YouTube’s videos on the rise.
“A big part of the power that this disease has is that it makes people afraid. For me, the unknown is almost always worse than the reality. My hope is that by showing what it looks like to go through treatment, I can shine a light on a little bit of that unknown.” Emily Helck
Helck, an accomplished writer for the Huffington Post, kept in touch with her readers through her blog where she wrote of her struggles and her accomplishments. In one of my favorite posts, she admits that she has no idea what to do with her hair now that it has grown back.
It is so completely different than it was before, she is tempted to continue wearing her head scarves to keep it covered. She shares her excitement on learning that there are mini-flat irons to tame short hair and then keeps us by her side as she masters how to use it. Her joy becomes our joy!
One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer.
When asked what the number one global disease is, most people respond with “hunger” or “AIDs.” In reality, breast cancer is the number one global disease. It affects every country and is no respecter of race, ethnic background, religion or financial status. It can happen to anyone, since less than 10% of breast cancer cases are caused through heredity.
Every year cities around the world mark October as “Pink October” by lighting buildings with pink lights like this picture of The Cathedral of Brasilia in Brazil, taken last year.
Support breast cancer this month by learning more about it and then sharing what you have learned. If possible, join one of the many fundraisers being held; there are races, runs, walks, bake sales, dinners and much more going on in every neighborhood. If you would like to help financially, donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the American Cancer Society.