We need more than just awareness

The cancer battle requires awareness being translated into real action.

While it is very important to note that âÄúthe battle against breast cancer does not end when Breast Cancer Awareness Month doesâÄù âÄî as the column âÄúKeep fighting for a cureâÄù in the Oct. 26 Minnesota Daily does âÄî the idea of breast cancer awareness is no longer needed.
Seeing breast cancer merchandise only makes me more aware of how lost in consumerism we are as a society. Only a fraction of the money spent on breast cancer awareness merchandise actually goes to an organization. Why canâÄôt we take the $5 we were going to spend and instead donate that money directly to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation?
A prime example of this is when I turned on the TV to see NFL players and stadiums littered with pink. I got excited at first, but I sat back and thought about how much it cost to equip stadiums and players with their fancy new symbols of âÄúawareness.âÄù CouldnâÄôt the NFL donate the millions of dollars they spend on those material things directly to breast cancer foundations? What does this pink merchandise accomplish?
My mom died recently due to breast cancer, and she always scoffed at those things. She battled the disease for eight years, during which she was forced to work full time to support herself and her children. The only way she made it through financially was donated vacation time from those in her office and donated money from friends and family. Near the time of her death, she quit working and received disability payments. During just that short amount of time, she racked up thousands of dollars in debt that my brother and I have to repay. This is not an uncommon story. I realize that her treatment may have been less advanced if it werenâÄôt for breast cancer awareness, but what I am saying is that she (and everyone else with breast cancer) needed more help. LetâÄôs all take a stand and donate directly to foundations, and pressure companies to do the same. The cure for breast cancer is not at all near if all we are working on is âÄúawareness.âÄù