I know 40,000 women die from breast cancer every year. The fact that this hasn’t decreased very much over the years is why I started blogging for change. What we have been doing – the pink ribbon campaigns, the fundraising, the awareness, the self-exams, the mammography, the research – hasn’t prevented those deaths from occurring year after year.
But it takes the wind out of your sails when one of those 40,000 women was your friend. Yolanda was a friend, a fellow breast cancer advocate, and a dear, sweet soul. She died this week, at the age of 36.
So today, the last day of breast cancer awareness month, I’m sad and frustrated. Will we ever make progress so that young women, sisters, mothers, aunts, wives, and grandmothers stop dying from this disease? How do we come together to encourage innovation, to remove the barriers that are preventing real progress, and to fight the powerful, commercial forces that are taking advantage of people’s fears of this disease? Are there smart, creative scientists out there who can figure this disease out? Can we help them get there?
There is nothing to do but keep trying. As Sen. Kennedy said, the work begins anew, the hope rises again, and the dream lives on.