Survivor ~ Helena Paparizou // (Eurovision Sweden Lyrics 2014)
Some Call Me a 'Survivor' – You Can Call Me 'Evolved'
Where Does the 'Pink' Money Go?
These corporations and organizations, , have lost sight of their role — and for many, their mission. They are not providing critical therapies breast cancer patients need to survive. Nor do they provide basic needs, like food and transportation, for those who are fighting cancer and are unable to work.
You never hear of a single organization that helps in covering funeral costs (a last attempt to give those who succumb to this horrific disease the dignity they deserve). I suppose they will brag about the dollars committed to research, so tell me more about the research findings? Surely the billions of dollars committed over the past three decades has resulted in some groundbreaking advances?
Pink Is Fine, but Something Has to Change
I have been a "survivor" for almost two decades, since being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 25. Throughout my evolution, which began during my time as an NFL cheerleader, I have became a voice for those who needed one. I defied the odds to become a mother, and forever became part of the sisterhood breast cancer brings into your life. In each phase of this journey, I am grateful for the struggles — as well as broke from 22 surgeries — but empowered to change how we fight this battle.
I have seen society jump on the bandwagon over the years; wearing pink ties, ribbons, and trinkets. In fact, my own brother wears a pink ribbon every day during the month of October to honor me and my aunt. Support of any kind during a struggle is important. Plus, his little plastic ribbon makes me smile. That may surprise you, but it’s the same ribbon he has worn for more years than I can remember. He hasn’t traded up for a new shiner model.
It means something to him, so it means something to me.
I get why people wear pink. I understand the pink ribbon has a history, but its time for that story to evolve as well.
No More 'Wimp Wagon'
I understand why some people need to believe someone, or some company is our ally. We need to feel like we are part of something bigger: It gives us hope. I know many, including myself, who have walked 60 miles to raise thousands of dollars. I did it to be included in something that really mattered. I was so distraught to see the competitive nature and “playful banter” to keep pushing on when clearly many were in pain. Those who struggled had to step aside and catch a ride on “The Wimp Wagon.” Are you kidding me? “The Wimp Wagon,” hadn't I already done the hard part — going through treatment?
I realize many take away amazing stories of success and accomplishment. They basked in the glory of finishing all 60 miles. I would never deny anyone those feelings. I just pray they never need services from those they so loyally supported.
Know Someone With Breast Cancer? Help Them Directly
Creating change won’t be easy, but let's make a vow this month to be activists, not pacifists. Participate in every event you feel deserves your contribution. Ask questions before you make a donation. Check the merchandise label to see exactly how much of your purchase is donated to the cause and mission of the organization receiving funds.
Directly support those around you who are affected by breast cancer! Find a way to make your investment count! Give someone a ride to therapy. Buy groceries for that single mom going through treatment. We decide how and what our campaign for compassion should be. It’s time we start making it count!
Bobbie Shay Leeis the founder and spokesperson for the Center for Transparency, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing clarity of the profits and contributions made through cause-related marketing campaigns. Lee is a former NFL cheerleader, national advocate for healthcare and consumer protection, and an 18-year breast cancer survivor.
Video: Zach Williams - Survivor (Official Audio)
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