It was a Facebook message telling me that she had breast cancer. I cried – hard. It had been years since Janet and I had seen each other. We reconnected on Facebook to talk about our upcoming high school reunion just a few months away. We grew up together – and were best friends from nursery school through high school and spent many hours talking about our futures. Then went off into the world and lost touch. Years later – here we are again talking about our future Only this time breast cancer is part of the conversation.
October is Breast Cancer month and you’ve likely seen pink ribbons everywhere and that is a very good thing. As October draws to a close I urge you to do your part to support those businesses doing something to raise funds to support breast cancer research and if you own a small business – there’s still time to launch your own campaign. I recently interviewed several businesses doing some really cool things this month.
The Frye Boot Company has launched “Help Kick Cancer in the Boot” campaign. They are selling a line of beautiful pink products – including their legendary boots – at a discount and contributing a generous portion to breast cancer research. Sea Bags of Maine has created a “Cure Bag” that features one of their tote bags – made out of recycled sails – with a pink ribbon sewn into the design. You can stop into Chapel Hill Floral in Bangor and vote for your favorite decorated bra by giving a donation. Finally, my friend and cancer survivor – Jeni Lloyd who is a very successful sales director with Mary Kay is putting on “Parties with a Purpose” with much of the proceeds going to this cause.
The good news about breast cancer is that there is hope. Hope for survival and hope for a cure. We have come a long way but we have a long way to go so every dollar raised matters. In the meantime do know that breast cancer is not for women only. It can strike men as well and no one is too young or too old to get breast cancer. Until we find a cure we all have to be aware and diligent about paying attention to our bodies. If something just doesn’t feel right – get it checked out!
Janet’s cancer was discovered early – through a mammogram. She went through surgery and radiation and they got it! Shortly after her treatment we reunited in our hometown for our reunion and we talked and laughed about our past and all those memories. But more than that - we talked about our futures and celebrated that we could!