Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why I cannot "think pink:" anymore..

I am sure what I am about to write will offend some people.  In fact, it will outright piss people off.  But I have something to say, and if I can't say it on my own blog, where can I say it, right?
So here goes nothing:
If I see another "pink for breast cancer" piece of merchandise, I may just puke.  Ahh, that feels so much better to get off my chest.  For those of you that are already up in arms about my above statement, allow me to explain.
I do not think that breast cancer doesn't deserve awareness.  You will never hear me say that it's not a deadly, scary and tragic disease that sickens and claims the lives of way too many people.  It's not that I do not think that the people afflicted by it deserve all the best access to treatment and research available.
But the cold hard facts here are this:  according to the American Cancer Society, survival rates in breast cancer patients that are now 5 years out from diagnosis are around 89%.  That's pretty dang incredible.  Advancements in medicine have made it so that there is much more hope for breast cancer patients, and though the treatment is often long, invasive and gruesome, it's gotten more and more effective.
This, sadly, is not the case for children with Congenital Heart Defects.  Did you know that for every single dollar raised by the American Heart Association, only about one penny goes to pediatric research?  This totally blows my mind.  One in every one hundred children have a CHD.  They are the number one birth defect, and the number one cause of death in children.  Sorry to say, America, but a lot of our adult cases of heart disease have more to do with eating habits, smoking, and lack of exercise than something you were born with. 
The majority of research dollars that do get allocated to CHDs come from families that have been afflicted with one.  People struggling to pay their own medical bills, people that have lost a child to the awful CHD monster.  How can we possibly sit back and let this continue to happen?
It bothers me to my very core that breast cancer awareness is so commercialized.  Why can't childhood illnesses-like CHDs or leukemia, say, get the attention that breast cancer gets?  How much money from that pink broom you purchased actually goes to breast cancer research?  If you are that passionate about breast cancer research, don't go buy a broom.  Donate what you would've paid for that pink broom to a cause that supports breast cancer research.  Don't fuel the consumerism that has overtaken us all.
As for me, I don't need a pink can opener.  I would love to have a blue & red one, though.  Those are the colors of CHD awareness.  Bet you didn't even know that.  Or how about an orange line of pens & pencils, benefiting leukemia research?
It's time we recognized the diseases that are killing our children.  Causing them pain and awful surgeries, procedures, and treatments.  Forcing them to practically live in a hospital, missing out on what a normal child should be experiencing.  Our children deserve to have hope for a future, too.
So save the boobies, by all means! 
But while you're saving boobies, save a child too.

1 comment:

  1. Add my support! No, I don't have CHD. But, try mixing vascular and hypermobile EDS with SLE who brought along asthma, Hashimoto's and all their little friends who aren't trying to kill me.

    EDS or SLE will eventually win. It's not that I don't care about breast cancer, but it's not on my list.

    Because I'm 21 and not expected to live to 30.

    Because I'm going to be realistic and say 25 is pushing it.

    Because I'm doing the worst thing to my parents, because no parent should have to bury their child.

    And all for a few stupid letters that most people don't get. One is a zebra, one is little more and not seen in a 9 year old.