Breast cancer is a subject that hits close to home for me. My grandmother passed away in 2002 after battling the disease for several years, my mom was diagnosed with it in 2012, and her sister tested positively for being high risk genetically. We also have close friends who are currently battling with breast cancer. I know our family story is not the only one that sounds this way - many of you have been closely affected by this disease. With October being breast cancer awareness month, there are so many great ways you can help to find a cure.
01. Self-exam. Check yourself regularly, so you'll know when something feels different. Early detection is so important when it comes to cancer. Tell your mom, your sisters, your best friends. See your doctor annually, and have him/her check too. (And take good care of yourself! Eat well, and exercise. You'll be giving your body the strength it needs to fight off any disease - from the flu to something as big as cancer.)
02. Get a mammogram! I know for my age range, this isn't as pressing, but anyone 30 or older should consider getting one. The chance of a female having breast cancer in her lifetime is so high - one out of every eight. I have a group of eight close girl friends from school, and it's crazy to think that statistically one of us will probably have it.
03. Donate to the cause. During the month of October, many stores are picking up donations to find a cure. I was at Walgreens yesterday, and you could give a small donation when checking out with a credit/debit card. There are so many simple ways to give. Race for the Cure is also coming up - if you know of anyone who is running, consider giving them a donation as well.
04. Get involved. Businesses are also finding unique ways to make finding a cure fun. My hair salon - Olive the Beauty Lounge - goes all out with an annual cut-a-thon, and also sells pink hair extensions and really cute t-shirts. Or consider participating in Race for the Cure this year!
05. Share the love. If you do know someone who is currently battling or has battled breast cancer, send them a card or give them a call. When illness effects your life in such a huge way, what you need most is the comfort of a friend. Let your loved ones know that you love them, are praying for them, and are so proud of their journey.
Lastly, my dear friend Taylor made a print to support the cause (she also recently opened an Etsy shop!), and we're giving a copy of it away! It would make a wonderful gift, or could hang in your home as a dedication to someone special.
If you'd like a chance to receive the print below, please share who you think of when you hear the words "courage, strength, hope." You can share by commenting on this post, or posting to social media. Just use the hashtag #tpafindacure. I'll announce a winner next Tuesday, October 22 at 9:00 AM! Contest will close the 21st at midnight.
Hopefully one day we will find a cure to end this awful disease. Until then, there are so many ways to support the search for a cure, and to support those affected by breast cancer. Take good care of yourself, and be an encouragement to the ones you love :)
Photography: Taylor Beam