The pink ribbons make their appearance every October. They quietly designate the observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Pinning on the silky badge demonstrates solidarity with women around the world.
This particular type of cancer can make an individual feel very alone. No one takes comfort in knowing that the disease affects more than 255,000 women in the United States every year. When the diagnosis impacts us or someone we care about, it’s a singular experience.
Since that first October back in 1985, we’ve become united in an effort to pull back the curtain on that sense of isolation. In 1991, the pink ribbon became a symbol of our commitment to work together and do more to help those dealing with this life-changing condition.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month shines a light on multiple fronts in our battle against the disease. As well as we mobilize, our efforts can sometimes overshadow what should be our core purpose: taking care of the individual.
The pink ribbon stands for so much. The support we give to local and national charities is immensely important. Just as important are the simple things we can do that make an enormous difference.
For example, you might start by asking a recently diagnosed patient how you can help. However, there is an alternative to this heartfelt inquiry. Instead of asking, make a statement. Let her know what you plan on doing.
You might explain that you’ll be her part-time housekeeper, free of charge. Smile as you jingle your car keys and announce your long-term commitment to running errands and ferrying the kids.
You look forward to giving her a ride to her next appointment. When she just needs to get out of the house, you’re just a phone call away. Weeding the garden, cooking dinner and doing the laundry are always on your can-do list.
Facing breast cancer should never feel like a lonely experience. Let your pink ribbon be the start of a shared journey as you help someone you care about. Plan on observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month year-round.
Together, the two of you are making a positive, life-changing difference. Get personal, stay involved, and stand strong.