22 Oct 9 Ways To Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as you may have seen on our social media pages on October 7th and 8th, the team at With A Little Help wore pink to honor a team member who is fighting breast cancer. There are a number of ways you can show your support of Breast Cancer Awareness and one of our very own Care Coordinators, Brandi Stockdale, put together this great list of ideas we’d like to share with you!
Employee “Passionately Pink Pancake Breakfast”
Encourage your coworkers to come into the office early for a “Passionately Pink Pancake Breakfast!” Set out a donation jar in the break room to collect donations. Then add a little food coloring, strawberries or beet puree to your pancake mix to have delicious pink pancakes. What a yummy way to show your support!
Help out someone you know who has breast cancer
“Let me know if I can do anything for you.” Most of us with cancer hear that phrase often … and then never see that person again. The longer we are on treatment, the more we need help. We need our dogs walked, we need our kids to be driven somewhere, we need our bathrooms cleaned. So if you know somebody who has cancer, don’t ask how you can help. Tell them how you plan to. Don’t put the burden of asking for help on the cancer patient.
Donate clothes to a chemo center
Did you know you can make a difference in a cancer patient’s life without even ever speaking to them? In every town, there are community oncologists who will accept donations of blankets, hats, or scarves. Due to privacy issues, you may not be able to actually talk to them, but you can talk to the staff at the front desk and ask if they are willing to accept items. You can also donate clothing and other goods to the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop where the items are resold to help fight against cancer.
Drive people to chemo sessions
There are many patients getting chemo who have nobody to drive them. If you’d like to help with transportation services, you can leave flyers, post on community bulletin boards or call a social worker to find out where the need is greatest. You can also contact the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and become a Driver Volunteer and help transport patients and their primary caregivers.
Write to your congressman
Over the past decade, the NIH has cut funding for cancer research, and that could drop even further due to proposed NIH budget cuts. Changes in healthcare law have created confusion, and it is becoming harder for people with cancer to get medications, whether it be chemo or supportive medications. Necessary pain medications are now withheld (even from terminal patients) because doctors are afraid of “overprescribing.” Some anti-nausea meds are too expensive and insurance companies won’t allow them. For many people, this can mean pain near the end of their lives. We need that to change.
Listen to cancer patients
Remember that when you speak to a cancer patient, they don’t necessarily feel like warriors or survivors; they don’t always want (or need) to have a positive attitude. And nothing they did, from eating sugar to consuming processed foods, caused their cancer. When somebody trusts you enough to tell you they have cancer, don’t respond by telling them they’re a warrior, or insinuate they did something wrong. Just tell them you are sorry this happened to them, and you are here to listen.
It’s important that you speak to them as the friends, colleagues, or loved ones they’ve always been. Cancer can be isolating, but you can be a reassuring figure who reminds them they don’t always have to pretend to be brave.
Pink October has become almost a national holiday, with pink promotions everywhere. However, the money donated by companies often doesn’t go where it’s needed most: to metastatic cancer patients. We incurable cancer patients are your mothers, your sisters, and your grandmothers, and we need your support.
Wear a pink ribbon daily in October
Hand out pink ribbons to everyone in your office and encourage your employees to wear them daily as a reminder and to keep conversation opportunities open about breast health. Or promote “Wear Pink Wednesdays” and ask the employees to wear pink clothing and/or accessories in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Hold a pink pumpkin contest
What’s better than combining Halloween activities with a good cause? Have employees create their best Breast Cancer Awareness pumpkin to showcase. Display pumpkins in the lobby (or at your local Chamber of Commerce) with collection jars next to each one. The pumpkin with the most jar donations wins! Donate the funds to a cause like Susan G. Komen or a local cancer center for women. Gain additional votes and donations by posting the images and a donation link on your social media pages.
Share “Beyond The Shock” resource
This free resource is an online guide and app to better understand breast cancer. It’s an ideal resource for employees struggling with a breast cancer diagnosis. You can also watch inspirational videos from breast cancer survivors sharing their stories.
With A Little Help