“Breast cancer changes you, and the change can be beautiful.” -Jane Cook, a breast cancer survivor
The entire month of October will be dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness!
It is a worldwide campaign that takes place annually and involves thousands of organizations that highlight the importance of research and education.
Many sports teams all over the United States will wear the pink ribbon on their uniforms, stores will sell pink items with a portion of the proceeds going to research, Panera will honor breast cancer with a Pink Ribbon Bagel, walks will be hosted, and many t-shirts and socks will be worn as visual signs in support of breast cancer.
The truth is, breast cancer seems to touch everyone and not one person is exempt. It could be an NFL player who lost a mom to breast cancer, a professor at a college who lost a sister, a child who lost a grandma, or a husband who lost his wife… and the list goes on.
According to the National Breast Cancer website,
1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. This year, an estimated 41,760 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S. Although rare, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer. An estimated 2,670 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the United States and approximately 500 will die. There are over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. On average, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States every 2 minutes.
I am not able to cure cancer, but I can help comfort those affected by breast cancer by gifting women who undergo a mastectomy with a special hoodie. This hoodie has pockets sewn on the inside of the hoodie. These pockets disguise the tubes and drains and keep them from pulling on the skin. The hope is this “Abundant Pocket Hoodie” will help the patient with some of the emotional and physical turmoil of a mastectomy.
Currently, Living in Abundance has gifted hoodies in 9 different states since its inception in January 2019. We have also sold over 300 T-shirts which help us buy more hoodies and materials to sew pockets.
I have received donations from people and even past breast cancer survivors who have received an Abundant Pocket Hoodie. There have been 22 talented and generous women who have volunteered their time to sew pockets in the hoodies. We will be hosting another Abundant Pocket Sewing night October 7th, so we can be prepared for the month of October. I am truly humbled by the many people who want to help with Living in Abundance.
It’s a source of comfort for these patients who are recovering from a double mastectomy. It was said to me once that it is like a “hug” from Living in Abundance to them. It’s a sense of knowing I am thinking of them and although this is difficult, the days ahead will get easier.
I love the reminder this month brings to women to get their mammograms and stay on top of their health. Early detection saves lives, please take time to get your mammogram.
I have been asked by several people what they can do to help in some way this month. Here are just a few ideas;
- Participate in a walk or host a walk
- Encourage friends, daughters and mothers to get mammograms.
- Organize an event to talk to your community about breast cancer.
- Tweet about National Breast Cancer Awareness month
- Display posters about breast cancer awareness in your organizations break room
- Partner with local women’s organizations and share information on breast cancer screening.
- Wear pink
- Support a nonprofit that either raises money for breast cancer or provides a service to patients with breast cancer.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”