She made this video seven months ago ... and her disease was stable. She was interviewed multiple times and featured in October in Pfizer's "Story Half Told." By all appearances, she was the picture of health and to the casual observer, had years left in her. Those of us who live the metastatic life suspected, or knew otherwise.
She died this morning. Age 42, mother of an almost-five-year-old and a seven-year-old. Wife of a devoted husband. Member of a huge village of those who love her.
I'm screaming both inside and out. The world will lament her loss and there will be talk about being taken too soon, but what is being done to stop breast cancer in its tracks? There will be wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth, but is that enough?
At times I feel such a sense of desperation. I don't want to talk about scarf tying tricks. I don't want to talk about whether a support group should meet every week for two hours or twice a month for 1.5 hours. I don't want to talk about nipple tattoos. I don't want to talk about pink ribbons.
Enough talk, already!
I WANT TO BE ABOUT SAVING LIVES!
It's time to get to the real work of ending breast cancer.
Fran Visco, president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition wrote a fantastic article outlining steps you can take to be a part of action and not just words. The end of breast cancer will not come as a result of hashtags and social media feeds, but as a result of hard work in the areas where change can be real.
There are many steps you can take to be a part of this real work. Take the first action and learn how you can help the National Breast Cancer Coalition reach their goal of ending breast cancer by 2020 by signing up for their National Action Network. You will receive regular updates on their progress, calls to action when they need the Network to mobilize around a particular issue and materials to help dispel myths and spread the message of what is needed to end breast cancer. You can decide how little or how much you want to engage as part of the network.
Go to the article above and see how you can engage with your federal elected officials. Sign up to attend the Annual Advocate Leadership Summit.
If you want to become an advocate educated in the science of breast cancer who can hold their own with scientists, government and industry officials, you should apply for the National Breast Cancer Coalition's world-renowned Project LEAD science training program.
Can't leave your home? Check out NBCC's Online Center for Advocacy Training.
We let Holly down. We let Liz down. We let Connie down. Three women known to me, all of whom have died in the last twenty days.
This shouldn't be.
Stop the talk and walk the walk. Get involved in one way, shape, form or another.
Feel free to contact me if you want to engage more. I want more than a pink ribbon.