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Does the Devil Wear a Pink Ribbon?


Aside from being spectacularly beautiful in much of the US, October is breast cancer awareness month.  My most popular blog to date was the one I wrote last year at this time called Why I Don’t Wear a Pink Ribbon.  It was a rant about how we’ve all been duped into believing that a pink ribbon supports women with breast cancer or breast cancer prevention when in fact it’s really a corporate gimmick supporting a mammogram industry that has become falsely synonymous with early detection, prevention, and saving lives. 

I wrote then about how difficult it was to find a charitable agency that directly supports the women—and men—who are already dealing with the realities of cancer.

Fact is, our products are perfect for anyone going through temperature swings related to hormonal changes or cancer treatments and we wanted to know how to get word—or garments or bedding—out to people who might stand to benefit the most from them.  But, as a small company, it’s not easy to be heard in a noisy world.

Now I’m delighted that PrettyCoolWoman has been discovered right here in Taos, New Mexico, by a young nonprofit organization called Taos Cancer Support Services, which has recognized the synergy in our missions to support women and men dealing with cancer.  This organization raises funds to help people trying to manage their everyday lives with cancer.  This is no small thing for anyone dealing with a health crisis, but here in rural northern New Mexico, getting cancer treatments can mean driving hundreds of miles for daily treatments.  Taos Cancer Support Services helps with gas money, lodging, food, house cleaning, whatever a person living with cancer needs.

So it’s been a pleasure to be a sponsor for an athletic event and a silent auction, both raising funds for Taos Cancer Support Services.  Because it’s a small organization in a small town helping real people one at a time.  That’s exactly the way I operate—helping one person at a time.

Here’s a thought:  What if the corporate takeover of most things medical is, on a larger scale, exactly the same process as we see in cancer?  Growth for growth’s sake.  Isn’t that what both corporations and cancers do?  Think about it—large organizations, like cancers, often gain so much momentum, sucking up resources in their uncontrolled growth, that they may hijack the original purpose of the organization or organism.

According to Laurie Becklund, in her last LA Times article before she died of breast cancer last February, “The most powerful organization in the breast cancer universe, Susan G. Komen, has raised $2.5 billion over the last 20 years, much more than many corporations will ever earn. Yet Komen channels only a fraction of those funds into research or systems to help those who are already seriously sick. Most of that money continues to go to a breast cancer “awareness” campaign that is now painfully out of date.”  Read Laurie’s full article here.

Of course, not all corporations behave malignantly.  There are companies that grow organically and show genuine interest in the individuals they serve.  (I’ll talk more about this in a future blog.)  But, I think mainstream medicine—and our culture-- is woefully off course when it comes to cancer and so many other health issues because corporate bottom lines have buried the real needs of the people they purport to serve.

Every culture has its own healthcare system; all work equally well for their own people who believe in their system.  In our culture, some people choose to opt in and some opt out of the mainstream recommendations.  I say do your research carefully, explore your beliefs, and choose wisely; no amount of research or clinical experience can perfectly predict your individual needs.

Prevention isn’t about mammograms, pink ribbons, or medications.  It’s about taking care of the sacred vessels that our bodies are as we walk on this beautiful planet and working with it and each other in a sustainable way so that we all can nourish ourselves with real food, hydrate with good clean water, and teach our children and grandchildren healthy ways to live.

So what’s really true about cancer?  Are we ready to talk about it?  Here’s a sneak preview of a new documentary series on cancer coming out this week.  I just heard about it myself.  I think it will be too controversial for mainstream media.    Check out the preview and share it if you think others will benefit.

And then come back and let me know what you think.

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