By Renee O'Donnell
Sometimes a symbol can
really perk us up--and sometimes, we like to show the world the
solidarity that we share with each other as women. For example, I
bought a pink
breast cancer bracelet because
two women in my life have struggled with this disease, and one of them
has triumphed. So, I feel moved to show that I care, and
that I remember.
One of the women who battled
breast cancer, I never met - my grandmother. If only she had
a symbol like the pink breast cancer bracelet back when she had the
illness, it might have made all the difference. Perhaps she could have
worn a breast cancer bracelet to help her talk to
other people about what she was going through.
In the 1940's
Symbols Like the Pink Breast Cancer Bracelet Were Not Yet Invented
grandmother was in the public eye as a fairly liberated woman with
her own radio show in the 1940ís. Later she was the city attorney
for Sunnyvale, California. Just after her career got rolling, she
contracted breast cancer and at the young age of 40, she died.
even though she was bold enough to carve her own path in many
ways, the challenge she faced was that there was little breast
cancer awareness and people weren't comfortable talking about such
a "personal issue". If only my grandmother had a
chance to wear a pink
breast cancer bracelet or even a breast cancer ribbon or pin!
Dream about Breast Cancer Changed My Aunt's Life
other woman in my life to get breast cancer was my Aunt Mary. One
day Mary dreamed that my grandmother was telling her to have a
breast exam! So she went to the doctor and he found a malignant lump.
It was removed using a newer less invasive procedure called a
lumpectomy. Mary boldly chose not to have chemo and openly discussed
breast cancer awareness with family and friends.
cancer bracelets still were not available to give Mary a symbol to
get attention for her condition. But that did not stop her from
drastically changing her diet to raw fruits, vegetables and very
little meat or other protein. She cut out sugar, quit smoking and
began running 5 miles a day. She also went to a breast cancer
awareness support group. This worked for seven years but
eventually her vigilance declined and she exercised less and less
while working at a very stressful job.
Solidarity with Pink Breast Cancer Bracelets
a routine doctors visit, a new lump was discovered in Mary's other
breast. It was cancer again! Mary had her other breast removed
then had reconstructive surgery on both breasts. She went back to
her diet and exercise routine. Again, she took complete charge of her
health, bought and wore a pink breast cancer braclet, and is a
proud breast cancer survivor today!
Longer Silent, We Can Proudly Wear Our
Pink Breast Cancer Bracelets
Today we can
proudly buy and wear breast cancer braclets to let the world know
that we will not hide our strength, intelligence and challenges.
purchased my breast cancer awareness bracelet on the Internet. Many dealers
sell them on eBay, but you can also buy a pink bracelet at Target and at
cosmetics counters in most major department stores.
Buy a pink breast cancer bracelet
to show your support for the courageous
women facing this disease and for those who have fought and are
my aunt Mary.
breast cancer bracelets and more
Renee O'Donnell is a writer,
photographer and graphic artist