SHAWNEE, Kan. - Sunday's edition of a local paper was tainted pink. The paper was not alone in color. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I've seen displays of pink water bottles, pink soaps, pink duct tape, pink towels, pink fountains, pink chairs, etc. What is the purpose of this? What has "pink" ever solved? Nothing. Frankly, I'm sick of seeing so much pink. I'm ready to see a cure. While I don't have anything against pink (it makes a great color for nail polish), I fail to see its relevance to breast cancer.
Don't let the marketing gimmick fool you. We don't need pink to bring awareness about the issue of breast cancer. I think we are all very aware that breast cancer exists. 110 people die of breast cancer every day. This is little improvement from the 117 people who died from it daily almost 20 years ago. We also have a substantially greater chance of developing breast cancer than we did 35 years ago. Our lack of progress in defeating breast cancer is not acceptable.
How many more women (and men) have to die before we demand something more? I care too much about our daughters, mothers, sisters, friends, aunts, and grandmothers to let this disease win.
I'm not alone in my frustration. Something has to be done, and it has to be done with a sense of urgency. Because of this, the National Breast Cancer Coalition has put a deadline on finding a cure. They demand an end to breast cancer by 2020. Is this a controversial goal? Yes. Can it be done? Who can say with certainty that it won't? A decade is a lot of time. As we've seen, it's also a lot of lives. In working together toward this goal, there is nothing to lose.
I ask that you stand with me and demand a real end to this horrible disease. As the NBCC's motto states, "Peel back the pink." Look at what's behind it. Pink may be the color of cotton candy, but it is not nearly as sweet as a cure.
You deserve real answers to the disease. We all do. Those answers aren't going to be found in a pink ribbon, pink mints, or pink lotions. They reside in the difficult questions, research, and in the history of what we already know. While I may not know the answer yet, I'm betting that the NBCC will have it by 2020. The destination is a cure. Come on board, and join us in reaching it. I'll even let you wear your pink hat.