“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s just not.” – Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Seuss wrote many memorable words, including some pure nonsense, his undeniable specialty, but this simple suggestion resonates with me more than some of the greatest quotes from history’s philosophers, orators and writers. It is a decisive call to action that all people – great and small, as they say, can adopt.
During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, LikeTheDew writers and readers have cared a whole awful lot about breast cancer with stories and comments from survivors and accounts about those who did not survive. Many of us have smiled, laughed and cried as we’ve traveled with Rosemary Griggs on her “Stroll Down Mammary Lane.” Rosemary’s authentic voice and art has provided us with insight that may be as raw and real as the fortunate among us will ever literally encounter with this disease.
The Pink Pyramid
We have shared information from, and about, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® related to the importance of early detection of the disease and their hope – and promise – to end breast cancer forever. We turn now to Komen’s global outreach, in places where an account like Rosemary’s Mammary Lane journal might not endure cultural taboos, yet the word is now spreading and the dialogue and education are making inroads abroad that will help to save lives.
To Understand the Moment, You Must Understand the Plight of the People. LikeTheDew has just received this blog from Katrina McGhee, vice president of global partnerships for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, who is currently in Egypt:
“What was a very private pain became a public rallying cry as thousands of women from around the world raced together through the pyramids of Giza to help raise breast cancer awareness in Egypt. A day of joy and celebration as many women – for the first time – proudly proclaimed to the world that they were breast cancer survivors. It was an inspirational and enlightening experience to represent Susan G. Komen for the Cure at the first ever Egypt Race for the Cure. Unsure of what to expect, I simply hoped that the renewed sense of hope and purpose you experience at a Race for the Cure in the United States would somehow be replicated amongst the majesty and mystery of the Great Pyramids. But what happened in the sands of Egypt was so much more. It was the magic of the movement coming to life.
To truly understand the significance of the moment, you have to understand the plight of the people. Breast cancer is not something you talk about in Egypt. A woman’s diagnosis is often hidden as she suffers alone and in shame. In some cases her husband leaves her and the children while she’s in treatment. Despite the great work of our partner, Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt, it can be a very lonely experience. In many ways it reminds me of the United States 30 years ago. When breast cancer was referred to as the “Big C” or the “Women’s Disease”. Back when there was no voice for our suffering, or a vision for how we would successfully put an end to the disease.
I reflected on all of this as I stood amongst the Race participants eagerly awaiting the call for the Race to begin. I should pause here for a moment and tell you almost all of the announcements were in Arabic – a language I don’t speak. But I soon learned that some things simply don’t require words. The euphoria of survivors in their pink shirts connecting with each other in the crowd elated to meet others who were a part of their intimate club. The laughter of children enjoying the celebration of life and the hope that springs eternal when so many are united for a common purpose. The sense of pride we all felt – young and older, black and white, Christian or Muslim, survivors and supporters – when more than 10,000 people took a public stand in the fight against breast cancer.
At Komen for the Cure we believe that where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live. It is the driving force behind our global movement to end breast cancer forever. And so, I have great hope for the women of Egypt. Indeed, for women everywhere who have been touched by breast cancer. After all, has there ever been a time in history where women – when banded together around a common goal – have not achieved greatness?”