This month of pink ribbons can drive a breast cancer survivor nuts, but as a marketer I know that this is the month people are thinking about breast cancer, so in the spirit of riding the horse in the direction it’s going…..if you’re going to do anything this month to support the breast cancer cause, here is an oganization I would strongly suggest you consider.
The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation with her Army of Women program, is one of my favorite organizations because it focuses on prevention and finding the root cause of breast cancer. Like most women, this was all new to me when I was first diagnosed, however what I’ve learned over the past 3 years from all my reading is that no one really knows what causes breast cancer. There are lots and lots of theories, but until we know what actually causes it, there’s no way they can actually cure this sucker.
Let me tell you, Dr. Susan Love is the real deal. When I was first diagnosed, I was fortunate enough to talk with a friend of a friend who knew her through a business relationship. This friend provided me with an email introduction to Dr. Love who was then gracious enough to set up a conference call with me where she reviewed my pathology reports and gave me her thoughts on the results along with her thoughts on the course of treatment I was pursuing. She didn’t know me, I had no connection to her, she was just doing what she does, which is encourage women to take control of their own bodies and treatment process.
She was amazing. She literally spent an hour on the phone with me, reviewed my pathology reports and a lengthy email I sent her explaining my rather complicated situation (the mammograms, ultrasounds, 1st lumpectomy, MRI, 2nd lump, core needle biopsy, recommended chemo routine, recommendation for a mastectomy) and shared with me her thoughts about my medical course of action. What I most appreciated about the conversation was her optimistic and generally pragmatic approach. She said that I was in for a tough haul, but that from reading my pathology report, “cancer wasn’t what was going to put me in the grave” and gave me a healthy, honest and optimistic view of the whole situation. And by the way, she did this all totally free! (Of course, I immediately sent a donation to her Foundation, but that wasn’t even something she asked me to do.)
In the midst of all the insanity of my breast cancer diagnosis, Dr. Love was a breath of fresh air. She even asked me to contact her again after my chemo was over, to have a follow up discussion so that she could help me as I wrestled with my decision on whether or not to go through with a bilateral mastectomy. I was astounded at how generous this perfect stranger was with me and will be forever grateful to her for sharing her expertise and knowledge during a time in my life when expert information was critically important to me.
In 2008, Dr. Love’s Foundation started The Army of Women, a groundbreaking initiative that partners women and men with researchers to enable research into the causes of breast cancer. There are currently 374,289 women enrolled in the AOW who are participating in research studies. Any one can register whether you’ve had breast cancer or not. I’ve registered, and already participated in several online studies.
It’s really easy and simple to register, go to https://www.armyofwomen.org/getinvolved and soon after you’ll begin to receive emails with details of research studies that are taking place. The research is very often conducted online, others are conducted via phone interview and then some are conducted at research facilities around the country so it’s easy to find one that will suit you. You can pick and choose what you want to be involved in and then you’ll receive an email with more details shortly afterwards.
So in this month of pink, if you’d like to do something to support breast cancer, instead of buying things with pink ribbons on them, please think about registering for The Army of Women. There are a lot of breast cancer treatment options available, but in my book, the bigger prize is finding the cause of breast cancer, so that all of the treatments aren’t needed anymore. Dr. Love is one of those people who is going to help us get there.