On October 13, 2020, Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Awareness Day, thousands of people tuned in to learn about MBC from the #LightUpMBC Virtual Gala. You can access the recording of the live-stream here:
I was honored to take part as an ambassador for #LightupMBC and went “live” at around 1:03 (in the video) from downtown Miami, Florida, at the American Airlines Arena, where we could also see the Freedom Tower and the Adrienne Arsht Center lit up in the colors of the Metavivor ribbon, pink, green and teal. Some amazing women from the 305PinkPack also joined me and talked about their experiences and how funding research is so very very important. I also wrote an article about the initiative for AdvancedBreastCancer.net, which you can access here.
I’ve written a lot during Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) about all of the “pink washing” and how the pink ribbon culture doesn’t always include those of us with MBC. It’s been a struggle every year to figure out how to deal with that, how to respond. I think everyone has their own methodology and there is value in how each person decides to handle it. For me, in the past, I spent a lot of time raging against companies, calling them out for making money off of the disease that is killing me. That time and effort was frankly exhausting and I hated it.
This year, I decided to be more proactive.
I spent time throughout the month on publishing and interacting with people about my daily educational posts throughout October and I gave multiple presentations to various groups all month long. The efforts on October 13th were by far the most exhausting and the most exhilarating of the entire month.
Not surprisingly, I found that the more I focused my energy and efforts on proactively playing offense rather than defense, the better I felt. I realize that our efforts may not have reached the entire country or all the people who needed to hear the message, but it felt as if more people were reached than last year or the year before. Additionally, the energy and sense of accomplishment that comes from working together with a group of people towards a common goal cannot be discounted. No one was toiling alone in their silo, we were all laser focused on the goals of educating and raising awareness about MBC.
And now the challenge is to take this success and keep it going all year long. For the people who aren’t dealing with an MBC diagnosis, the focus can be on breast cancer for this month and then they are done. I certainly felt that way to a certain extent before I was diagnosed. But, this living with MBC thing is 24/7/365 and we need and deserve commensurate attention.
Another way each of you can take part in supporting those of us with Metastatic Breast Cancer is to sign up for the Orlando Metsquerade! I’ll give you all the details soon, so stay tuned! 🙂