Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Put Your Money to Better Use

By Kara Frair
As I scroll through Facebook or flip through the channels on TV, I’m seeing a lot of pink, as I do every October. Because of this, I have struggled for days trying to write this article eloquently and without offending anyone who holds this cause so close to their heart.

So here goes nothin’.

I have respect for anyone that is putting his or her time and money towards a cause that they champion. I respect anyone that has fought breast cancer, is still fighting, is a survivor, or who has lost their battle. There is no denying that it is an ugly disease. I’m enlightened to see champions of the cause; people running marathons and donating money; NFL players and cheerleaders donning pink uniforms; companies contributing a percentage of profits to help find a cure. It makes you feel good. It makes you feel useful. It makes you feel like we’re gaining on this disease.

But it makes me feel sad.

If you’d like, you can go on the Internet and research how little of your donated money actually goes towards “finding a cure”. You can look up the companies that are painting their products pink, only to keep all the profits. You can research all the entities selling pink products made with materials and chemicals that actually cause cancer.

To me, this is all irrelevant. I’m not here to be a whistleblower. I’m here to shift the paradigm. Much of the focus during Breast Cancer Awareness month is on just that: the awareness. But I’m afraid, we are aware. So much so, that it’s almost suffocating. What’s worse? Our awareness is focused in the wrong area.

We’re focusing on finding a cure when there is no cure to be found.

We’re focused on spreading awareness for early detection, as if everyone will be inflicted with breast cancer.

We’re focused on buying pink ‘things’ that go towards curing breast cancer, when breast cancer is a preventable disease.
We’re focused on blindly feeding ourselves a cancer-causing diet and allowing ourselves to live in a toxic environment instead of educating ourselves on the lifestyle-disease correlation. The breast cancer awareness campaign is far removed from its initial mission to cure cancer. It is now a profit-producing machine that teaches people how to perpetuate this disease rather than prevent it.

In college, I was a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha Fraternity, whose philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness. I woke up at the crack of dawn every October to volunteer at Race for the Cure. I swooned over every pink item I laid eyes on and scraped the money together to purchase it. I handed out pink ribbons and shoelaces at NFL games. I hosted awareness events on my campus, collaborated with other organizations that wanted to join the cause, organized fundraising events, and took pride in reaching philanthropy goals. I felt so empowered by participating in these things because I, myself am faced with a 50% chance of developing breast cancer. But I have to wonder, was my focus misguided? Should I have been teaching my peers how to prevent cancer? Should I have been offering cooking classes and shopping lessons? Should I have been researching environmental toxicity? Should my sorority’s priorities have been elsewhere?

Yes.

Today, I want to give you a different route to take. Today, I want to take a true stance against breast cancer, all other cancers and all lifestyle diseases. Today I want to show you that there are better ways to spend your time, efforts and money. Let’s shift this paradigm and be part of the solution.

Here are 5 things you can do with your money during the month of October OTHER THAN buy pink shit:
1.) Buy vegetables. It’s as simple as it sounds. Throw out that shit you call food in your pantry and go buy some local, fresh, organic vegetables. Then eat them. If the food you eat was made in a factory, it’s creating an environment in your body that cancer loves to live in. If it makes you feel better, tweet a picture of your newly acquired veggies and proclaim your dedication to breast cancer prevention. What will it take to get you guys to a Farmers Market? Pink vegetables?
2.) See a doctor who doesn’t prescribe medication. Find a chiropractor or an integrative doctor or a homeopathic doctor. Let them evaluate your true state of health and empower you with life-changing habits that will bring your body back to a healthy state. It’s important to see a professional that will help you figure out what’s causing the fire, rather than help you douse it with water.
3.) Purchase garden supplies. Yes, winter is on our doorstep but that means garden supplies will be on sale. Get everything you need to grow your own produce when the weather warms up next year. Spend some time educating yourself on how to grow your own food.
4.) Support a different cause. A sustainable food system in the United States is one that desperately needs our attention and has a direct impact on the rate of breast cancer in America. Factory farming, GMO practices and chemicals are killing humans, ruining the planet and creating enormous health care costs. Pick a cause that needs real help. Find an organization that raises money for the prevention or alternative treatment of illness rather than the elusive cure.
5.) Use your money for yourself. There are absolutely countless ways to improve your health and create an environment in your body in which cancer cannot possibly live. Join a gym. Purchase food-based supplements. Take a yoga class. Explore spirituality. Make your own cleaning supplies. Remove toxins from your home and work environment. Be your own advocate. Don’t leave it up to gigantic organizations that are using your money for marketing and salaries. Open your eyes. YOU have the power to prevent this disease

In conclusion, let’s stop shouting “find a cure!”

Instead, let’s empower the public with education. Let’s teach people how they can prevent cancer. Let’s explore and, yes, research other methods of treatments; ones that aren’t so toxic to our bodies. Stop buying pink stuff and start taking accountability for your body! Then you’re truly joining the fight against breast cancer!

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