This post was sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the American Cancer Society.
“If you run a Google search right now, input “double mastectomy” in the search bar, what you would mostly find are white people’s double mastectomy surgeries. According to research, black women have seen increased rates of breast cancer over the past ten years leading to increased death rates.
Where are the examples of black and brown folks who had these surgeries? Where were the images of their double mastectomies (mastectomies, lumpectomies, etc.)?”
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the photos of Writer/Performer, Ericka Hart, during this year’s Afropunk Festival. I thought immediately to the women in my family who were also Breast Cancer survivors, and how empowered they’d feel by seeing such a visual representation of their triumph. Breast Cancer is colorblind, and yet all too often women who like like me and Erika are left out of the conversation. And while I am not a Breast Cancer survivor, Erika’s story of resilience is one that encouraged me to take part in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Walk in Boston. There are Making Strides walks held in major cities all over the US, by the way, so you should definitely visit the Making Strides website to either locate a walk in your city and/or to donate to the cause.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.*
These statistics are pretty scary, but not surprising. Cancer has affected many members of my family. My husband’s maternal grandparents both died of cancer, and two of my cousins are Breast Cancer survivors. With such staggering statistics it’s likely that you or someone you know has been hit by this disease in one way or another.
We often feel helpless when someone we know is suffering, but taking part in a Making Strides Walk to show your solidarity is a small, but effective way of helping to battle this disease and make it a thing of the past once and for all.
But also, this walk was SUPER fun. It’s noncompetitive, so you walk at your own pace and just enjoy your time with your team. Also, even if you can’t round up a team, “Never Walk Alone,” is more than the walk’s motto, it’s a fact. When we started walking we just picked up friends along the way. Plus, the volunteers cheered us on as we walked.
Since we’re in New England, the weather this time of year can be hit or miss. Unfortunately it was a pretty cold and rainy day, so I prepared by purchasing a few items for my team to show my gratitude and appreciation for their dedication to this cause.
Each of my walkers received a cute pink bag, filled with candy, lipstick, accessories for the walk, and some bath and body goodies:
We were a jolly bunch!
And I made sure to wear a poppin pink lipstick just for the occasion:
By the time we were finished we couldn’t believe we had actually completed the walk. The time just flew by.
Visit the Making Strides websiteTo locate a team or create your own. Walks are happening in cities nation-wide, so join one today!