Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

American Cancer Society – Sponsored Video

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the American Cancer Society. All opinions contained are my own.

Quick – what color is the support ribbon for lung cancer? Any clue? Well, it is white/clear/pearl. You know why you didn’t know? Because people don’t always support the fight against lung cancer because smokers get it and “did it to themselves.” There is even the thought that only non-smokers should be supported with the white/clear/pearl ribbon. Nice.

You know after my mom died of cancer in 2007, people invariable asked me what she died of and after I answered cancer they would follow up by asking what kind. I would answer lung and without missing a beat nearly every single person would then ask “did she smoke?”

And yes, she did.

I got this far in writing this post tonight and then I read Angelina Jolie’s op ed in the New York Times tonight and I felt a bit of a record scratch moment. I think it is amazing that Angelina Jolie had an elective double mastectomy for personal cancer prevention to promote her own health and try to ensure that she will be around for her children for a long time. And chose to share her story. That’s like the exact opposite of smoking two packs a day. And while not all smokers get lung cancer, smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States.   Birthdays_0

So. Let’s not smoke, ok? It isn’t worth it. But this isn’t supposed to be an anti-smoking psa, it is supposed to be about how cancer touched my life and for me the two are irrevocably intertwined. Luckily, smoking rates are on the decline and with them lung cancer rates as well. The American Cancer Society has been instrumental in the 50% drop in smoking rates since the 1960s (just look at Mad Men! So. Much. Smoking.) But, Amy, you say, you smoked! I did. For many years, but I quit before I got pregnant and haven’t smoked a single cigarette since having Spencer. Nope. Not a one.

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While I have always been aware of the American Cancer Society, I had no idea that the organization was turning 100 this year. What an amazing feat! It was started by a core group of physicians and it has grown so, so much. My parents volunteered at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for many years and I think it is a great fundraising program. I try and get a luminaria for my mom most years, but since I stopped working at the hospital I have missed some years, but I think I still have time to have one lit for this years event.

Please take a moment to watch this video.


We had some options for which video to embed and I picked the Josh Groban one. My mom pink-puffy-heart loooooved him, going all the way back to his Ally McBeal days.

This post is sponsored by the American Cancer Society.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Friday, October 1st, 2010

I always have mixed feelings about October, when Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes around and the stores are a sea of pink. I think it is great that people are willing to spend a little extra or buy something specific to help raise money for breast cancer research, but it also irks me for two reasons. First of all, people are willing to throw so much support behind breast cancer, but what of other cancers?

Some of this comes from residual resentment from dealing with my mom’s death from lung cancer. She was diagnosed at stage IV, so things weren’t good, but it was so hard telling people. I would say she had lung cancer and the immediate response was almost always to ask me if she smoked. When I answered in the affirmative, there was this pause and a palpable strangeness in the air, when it seemed the questioner was fighting back the urge to say that she deserved it. It was awkward and horrible and didn’t make things any easier. But it was there. And that is probably why I’ve never seen a major fundraising campaign for lung cancer.

The other thing to think about when you buy these special pink products, is how much money is actually going to breast cancer research and what types of companies are sponsoring the initiatives. Think Before You Pink is a great website that outlines all of this and much more.  One of the things I love about this organization is that in 2008, they called out Yoplait on running that huge campaign with pink lids every year while continuing to use milk products containing rBGH, which has itself been linked cancer.  Yoplait, and subsequently Dannon, yogurt is now rBGH free. There is also detailed information on the website about pinkwashers, companies that make breast cancer awareness claims while continuing to produce products that are linked to cancer.

I have no issue with fundraising to fight breast cancer. As a woman, I am at risk for cancer, it runs in my family and I would sure like a cure. For everyone. Losing a parent to cancer sucks. I just dislike the marketing campaigns where they are luring someone in to buying a product to help cure cancer, when it is possible that only 5 cents of your purchase with a corporate cap of $10,000 might be the reality. And the corporation pulls in all of the good will. I would like to encourage transparency in marketing and fundraising and critical thinking when purchasing. And don’t get me started on Susan G Komen for the Cure getting in bed with KFC.

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