Bang the Drum: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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I hate cancer. Just seeing the word is enough to strike fear into the bravest of brave.

When my grandfather, a strong and good-natured man who retired from the Air Force, was diagnosed with kidney cancer, it was the only time I ever saw him cry. This gregarious man turned sullen and desperate. A man who fought for our country, our safety, was now fighting for his life. He was scared. So was I.

He nearly lost his life to the football-sized tumor that wreaked havoc on him emotionally and physically. I watched him whither away. Such a strong man becoming weak and painfully thin, almost unable to walk. Exhausted. Pale. It was heartwrenching to watch this man I loved fight for his life, knowing I couldn’t do anything to ease the pain. But he fought and he’s a survivor, and not only is he my “pap,” but he’s also the beloved “pappy” to my daughter. I’m so happy that she is getting to know him, and him her.

This is the reason cancer research and awareness is so important. To find cures, better treatments and prevention strategies for not only ourselves or loved ones, but for our children – the ones who will carry on the fight against this devastating disease.

This month, it’s hard not to notice all the pink in October – grocery store shelves are lined with pink products and even football players don pink shoes and gloves. It’s encouraging to see so many people and companies supporting breast cancer research and awareness. About 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Men suffer too, with a risk of about 1 in 1000. Nearly 40,000 women die every year from breast cancer. If those numbers aren’t staggering enough, there are 2.6 million survivors living in the US today. Pretty impressive, right?

Breast cancer also runs in my family, making me hyper vigilant and an advocate of self breast exams and mammograms. My great grandmother was a breast cancer survivor after undergoing a mastectomy. She was a survivor, but not everyone is saved.

Breast cancer can strike anyone at any time. It affects not only women, but also men and isn’t particular about race or age. All women should perform breast self-exams and have an exam done by their doctors regularly. In fact, most breast cancers are first discovered by women themselves. Starting at age 40, all women should have mammograms done every 1 to 2 years. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the higher the rate of successful treatment.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Ford has also enlisted in the fight against breast cancer with its Ford Warriors in Pink Campaign. Designed to recognize the strength and courage it takes to deal with the everyday challenges of fighting breast cancer, the Warriors in Pink campaign honors breast cancer survivors. Since its inception 18 years ago, Ford has helped to raise $115,000,000 to support the breast cancer cause.

To get in on the cause, visit Ford Warriors in Pink to shop for Warriors in Pink apparel. The super cute hoodie below is just an example, and not all items are pink, which means you men have plenty of options too! The best part: 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to support breast cancer awareness all year long. Shoppers can choose any of four charities to support with their purchase, including Susan G. Komen, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation or The Pink Fund.

Warrior on my Shoulder Relaxed Hoodie

In addition, for the first time ever, Ford has created the “Bang the Drum: Living Out Loud in the Face of Breast Cancer” documentary, featuring stories from 11 women and men. This video is an inspirational resource about the Models of Courage, nine women and two men, women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. Who in the face of breast cancer, were inspired to live with a greater purpose, to share their stories about life after breast cancer. You can see the Models of Courage stories in the video below.

This October, Ford Warriors in Pink® has launched its first ever produced documentary, “Bang the Drum: Living Out Loud in the Face of Breast Cancer.” The film honors 11 men and women breast cancer survivors who have demonstrated strength and courage in their battle with its “Models of Courage” program. 2012 marks Ford Motor Company’s 18th year of support for the breast cancer cause. In that time, Ford has dedicated more than $115 million to the breast cancer cause.

You too can get involved in this tremendously worthy program! When you buy Ford Warriors in Pink apparel at fordcares.com, 100 percent of the net proceeds go directly to support breast cancer awareness all year long. To keep connected, be sure to check out Ford Warriors in Pink on Facebook and follow @WarriorsinPink on Twitter.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ford Warriors in Pink. The opinions and text are all mine.

 

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Comments

  1. Very informative and inspiring. I am happy to hear your Pap has beaten the odds 🙂

  2. I have to say that I love October for all the Breast Cancer awareness! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for the reminder. My best friend mom is a cancer survivor so I appreciate you telling us about it!

  4. Very informative post. I will have to share with a few friends that has family that are breast cancer survivors

  5. I think this is a fantastic campaign for an amazing charitable cause!

  6. Great article and thanks for the reminder!

  7. What a great cause! I know many women who have been challenged with breast cancer, its so hard to watch.

  8. Thank you for sharing info about your cause.

  9. This is amazing! Cancer runs in my family, breast cancer especially…so something like this really hits close to home.

  10. Cancer is such a scary thing – and you’re right, it’s terrible watching strong people in your life become weak, when fighting this horrible disease. Thank you for sharing your story and supporting a great cause!

  11. Great post! Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so glad that your pap beat cancer!

  12. Warriors in Pink are fantastic and I love that we can bring so much awareness to this disease and help so many ppl.

  13. Thank you for all the information, my Aunt is a breast cancer survivor …

  14. I think almost everyone has been touched with cancer in their lives; it has taken several loved ones from me. This sounds like a great campaign, thanks for sharing!

  15. Cancer sucks ass!!! My dad was the happiest, healthiest most loving guy… it turned him into someone completely else before he died. I hate that the most.
    Bang that drum!!!!

  16. Thank you for this great article!

  17. Thank you for helping to spread the word!!!

  18. Thank you for reminding us. Shared, tweeted and G+1’d.

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