{I Am Pink} Going Pink Locally

On November 11, it will be 30 years since my grandmother died from breast cancer.  I was barely ten.   My mom was 27.    My grandmother was 55, ten years younger than her oldest daughter, my Aunt Judy, is now.   Thirty years ago breast cancer was almost always fatal.   There were no screenings or pink ribbons or monthly self-check reminders to hang in the shower.

I barely remember my grandmother’s illness.  By the time it was diagnosed, the cancer had spread to almost every part of her body.   My grandmother left behind a husband who adored her, five children who loved her, and eleven grandchildren, some of whom were so young they cannot even remember our Mema.

Breast cancer is real to me, real to my family.   It’s just as real to thousands of other families across our nation and around the world. 

This month stores are inundated with pink … from sticky notes to candles and scarves to socks … you can buy pretty much anything to support breast cancer research.   And most of us have succumbed to the advertising.   We’ve maybe even paid a few cents more in order to have that feeling we’ve helped, we’ve done something.   Because, the truth is, we want to do something.  Partly from obligation, partly from conscience, and partly from fear.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to do something for any of those reasons.   But I wonder if maybe you are like me and you want to do more than give a few cents of your purchase to an organization that distributes millions of dollars to other agencies you would never support.    Or maybe you have this nagging sense that money isn’t the only answer.   Or perhaps you’re overcome with a desire to touch lives in practical ways.

There is much to be done in the war against breast cancer … and there are many ways to support the cause in your local community.     Here are a few:

  1. Get a buddy and go for a mammogram!   The best way to change the incidence of breast cancer is to be proactive!   For information about low-cost mammograms, contact the National Cancer Center.
  2. Bake some cookies and take them to the chemo lab at your local hospital.   Then stay and spend time with those patients … listen to their stories and see them for more than their disease.
  3. Host a yard sale to benefit your local breast cancer support group.   Even a small amount of money can help these groups purchase resources.
  4. Don’t just offer practical help to someone dealing with this illness, do it!  Stop by with a meal or spend some time folding laundry.   The truth is, we as women are reticent to ask for help … but the families affected by breast cancer often need it.
  5. Listen as she sorts through her options.    Ask questions but don’t give unsoliticed advice.   Simply be there to help her consider each of the choices she has.
  6. Sew or crochet or knit small lap throws for chemo patients.   Often the effects of the medicine lead to chills and having a blanket can be such a blessing for those who are receiving treatments.
  7. Sit with a friend {or even an acquaintance} who is having chemo.  It can be very lonely sitting in that lab for a few hours at time … just be there to listen and help her however you can.
  8. Contact an oncologist in your area and speak with their nurse manager or business office manager to find out if there are specific needs they are aware of among their patients.
  9. Share your heart about breast cancer and supporting those who are survivors and those who have lost loved ones to this disease.  You don’t have to be an expert … just encourage others to get involved.
  10. Listen!  To patients, to survivors, to families … listen for ways you can help, ways you can pray, ways you can connect.   And most of all – DO!

My Mema was a beautiful woman {the photo above is of her when she was in her 20s}.   I have some of her milk glass collection and the engagement ring my Pepa gave her before he went off to war.   I treasure those things … and the memories of a summer spent at their house drinking coke floats and playing with my Holly Hobby doll.   But I’d give anything for one more day, now as an adult, to ask her questions and receive her counsel.   {I am pink} because I don’t want my daughter to lose her grandmother far too early.

The Heart and Soul of Breast Cancer Awareness … {I Am Pink} is a heartfelt call to others to consider how breast cancer affects each of us and how we can each be best involved in the fight against this disease.   I’m thankful to be partnering with Brooke McGlothlin and Sarah Pinnix to explore this topic and offer alternatives to simply buying pink.   Tomorrow, Brooke will be sharing her {I Am Pink} story and Sarah share hers on Thursday.  Friday, we invite you to join the {I Am Pink} community by linking up your own {I Am Pink} thoughts and sharing them on a linky at Brooke’s blog.  

Will you join us?   What are some other ideas you have for going pink locally?  How can we be engaged in the lives of those dealing with this disease in our communities?  Why is it important for us to do so?

{linking to top ten tuesday at oh amanda’s}

Read the Psalms this summer with Scripture Dig!


  1. I know everyone means well by wearing pink for breast cancer awareness but you’ve made pink an action verb and I think it is awesome!


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