Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Oct 13 2006

(Anything) pink for the cause?

Breast cancer is a serious thing. Breast cancer research is a serious thing and it costs some serious dollars. People raise money for the research in some interesting ways. Did you know there was a Blogger Boobie-Thon? Or that Monte Barrett got into the ring wearing pink boxing gloves? One man is trying to persuade folks to turn their web sites Pink for October.

Not everyone is happy about the whole buy pink focus. After all, it's tough to know where your donation actually goes with fundraising campaigns that are often sponsored by commercial interests. I remember when the whole reminder bracelet campaign started after Lance Armstrong's battle with testicular cancer. Since that time, there has become a fundraising bracelet for more causes than seems possible. A successful fundraising idea is invariably borrowed and copied and mimicked until people are so fatigued by it that they run to find the next novelty.

There's also the danger that a fundraising gimmick will be associated with someone whose character comes into question at a later date. Even a mostly-respected celebrity can inadvertently send mixed messages to people who might otherwise plunk down a donation for a trinket. A painful personal experience can send people running in the opposite direction. I knew of one woman whose husband decided to leave the family for more freedom just as their third child was born and not long after the yellow bracelets came out. The woman associated Lance Armstrong, not with cancer recovery, but with having chosen to give up on his marriage while showing relentless dedication in other areas of life. She refused to support the bracelet idea and even refused to buy a bracelet in support of any other cause. Her reaction may have been extreme, but it does point out the pitfalls of a seemingly well-intentioned fundraising gimmick.

I'm rather fond of the work of Dr. John McDougall, who advocates a common sense, quality-of-life approach to breast cancer, in both prevention and treatment. The pharmaceutical companies and related industries aren't terribly fond of Dr. McDougall, but he has a way of helping at least some people anyway. I wish everyone would at least consider giving his approach a serious look.

I really hope that the pale pink of breast cancer products is only a pale memory someday as people do what they can to eradicate this awful disease.

posted at: 11:43 | category: /Health and Fitness | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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