Pink is powerful and poignant and has perfected its job of making people aware of breast cancer. However, pink is not enough. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, October is not enough. Traditionally, we wear pink in October– in our hair, on our clothes, and in our souls to inspire awareness; however, awareness is not enough. Stage 4 needs more. Stage 4 needs more. Stage 4 needs more.
Here is where you can help! If your life has been untouched by cancer, specifically metastatic breast cancer, then you might be one in a million. The reality is that every community has people LIVING with metastatic breast cancer, and there is more we can do beyond wearing pink. You can donate, donate, and donate some more because only cancer research– alongside extra doses of friendship, hope, and humor- is going to stamp cancer right out of lives.
Next week, October 15-19, the Lin-Wood Public School Wellness Committee has organized a METAvivor donation drive during student drop off and pick up times. We are encouraging all STAFF and all STUDENTS to wear a combination of PINK, TEAL, and GREEN– because just one color is not enough either. According to the METAvivor website, “Green represents the triumph of spring over winter, life over death, symbolizing renewal, hope, and immortality; teal symbolizes healing and spirituality. The thin pink ribbon overlay signifies that the metastatic cancer originated in the breast.”
METAvivor, initially a volunteer based non profit support group, was born in Maryland and has evolved into a nationally respected program whose primary vision is to provide research grants and support for women and men battling Metastatic Breast Cancer. Metavivor is the SOLE organization in the United States dedicated to awarding stage 4 breast cancer research. Their mission: “to transition metastatic breast cancer from a terminal diagnosis to a chronic, manageable disease with a decent quality of life.”
I’m not really a numbers person by nature. However, in looking over METAvivor’s financials located on their website, their monies raised in donations DOUBLED between 2016 and 2017. This means they were able to pay out twice as many grants to qualified cancer research scientists and fund twice as many proposals showing promise in making a difference in the lives of the stage 4 community, which includes their families. Imagine the funding if we tripled those donations or quadrupled them by 2019. Imagine the individual lives extended. Imagine the quality time extended. Imagine the family hope extended. Imagine. Imagine. Imagine. Stage 4 needs more. Again, I’m not a numbers person, so I don’t know how many folks have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in the last year alone– or how many live in the North Country– but I know at least one. And she is enough. She is enough.
In educating myself about why this color combo of pink, teal, and green is a powerful, united force against cancer, I also learned that while 30% of all breast cancer will metastasize (which means the cancer moves from one site to another in the body), only 2% of research funding goes to metastatic breast cancer research. This must change. This must change. Stage 4 needs more. Our donations to METAvivor change these outcomes. Change a life. Save a life. Find the change in your couch, in your car, in your rainy day jar. Let next week’s donation be the way you spend your rainy day jar. Send it in with your children. Drop it off yourself. People are always asking, “I wish I could do more to help.” Or, “Is there anything she needs? Is there anything they need as a family?” Or, “What else can we do to support them right now?”
This. This right here is how you can help right now. Donate to METAvivor. This helps. This makes a difference. This saves lives. This is how you can help to save a life without being an EMT or doctor or firefighter or other kinds of first responders. This right here. Please consider making a donation next week. She is enough, yet there are thousands more.
To learn more about METAvivor, check out their website and don’t forget to make a donation either online or in person at Lin-Wood Public School (Oct. 15-19) during drop off or pick up. Look up for the lovely folks dressed in a combination of PINK, TEAL and GREEN.