Raising

Awareness.

Most of you are aware of the plethora of ways people are supposedly raising awareness for breast cancer and other illnesses.  The most recent one for breast cancer sent me over the edge.  In the past they’ve simply annoyed me, but this one seems particularly bad.

The messages I was getting yesterday told me that I needed to make my status “I’m x weeks and craving y” x being determined by the month I was born, and y being determined by the the date of my birth.  In my case, it would be “I’m 12 weeks and craving bananas.”  Here is why this bothers me so much.  THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH BREAST CANCER.  Instead, it’s designed to get people commenting on the poster’s status – apparently about a pregnancy.  It’s HUGELY insensitive.  Whoever came up with this idea didn’t stop to think about a couple of things.  What about women who can’t conceive?  Couples who have been trying and trying and are now being asked to make light of something that important to them.  Or people who are not close (geographically) to their families.  What if I had posted that I was 12 weeks and craving bananas?  Most likely I would have been flooded with congratulations posts (as I was when we announced that we were pregnant with Dru) and my parents and friends that would NEVER find out that kind of information first on FB would have seen that and known that I hadn’t told them.  Which is why this version upset me so much.

So I decided to post a different status: “Okay, I have a better idea than trying to confuse people – I SUPPORT BREAST CANCER AWARENESS. I donate, I walk and I wear the ribbon. Please, instead of spending time on FB confusing people, bring real awareness and help.  Thank you”.  I didn’t really do it to start a war, but I wanted to put out there that I do, in fact, support Breast Cancer awareness (as well as other causes) through REAL effort.  I then posted a call to action for those who chose to step up.

I am walking in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Walk (their breast cancer walk) with Kris’ office team on October 16th, 2011 in Hoffman Estates.  Here’s the link to my walk page.

For those of you who are willing to step up and not just be attention whores on FB, support me or someone else in walking, walk yourself, or maybe just post what I posted as my status.  Let’s bring REAL awareness here.

And don’t forget – men can get breast cancer too (and lose loved ones to it) so there’s no good reason to set out just to confuse them.

And yes, I understand the ostensible purpose of these statuses.  But as someone on my status said last night (I think it was Brandee) it tends to trivialize and annoy more than raise awareness.  So instead of playing games, let’s make a difference.

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