October is upon us and therefore, so is Breast Cancer Awareness month. As we head into Fall and this time of year, I’m reminded of my first semester away at college when my stepmother, Dana, was diagnosed with the disease at only 35 years old.
I was fresh out of high school and felt invincible with a world of possibilities ahead, and I vividly remember how innocently naïve I was of certain things at the time. Unless someone close to you has gone through it — the idea of being affected by a disease and being aware can be “out of sight and out of mind” as it was. Dana’s diagnosis was a sucker punch not only to her, but to our family, and my own overall version of reality. The statistic of 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer is globally recognized more now than it was a decade ago when I first felt its impact firsthand.
This is where the importance of awareness comes in, and how we are able to create impact and change. Social media has been a tremendous resource and is very prominent in our everyday lives. It’s one of the biggest factors that comes to my mind when differentiating between now and my collegiate years. Back when I entered college — Instagram wasn’t a “thing” yet. Although I’m proud to be part of the club that remembers life without social media, there’s a part of me now, as the Communications Coordinator, where my mind races with all the possible opportunities for the impact my sorority could have had on our philanthropic cause, which was coincidentally — breast cancer. Arguably, there are certain downsides to social media, but it has also become another form of news and information sharing, and there is so much good to be done with it. For example, this month the Foundation is hosting a Facebook challenge — 31 Miles in October, and I encourage everyone reading to sign up and start your own fundraiser. August’s challenge reached as far as South Africa, can you believe that?! That’s the power of social media.
In addition, partnerships have become extremely important as they help us reach a greater audience. This month we are very excited about partnerships in place specifically for Breast Cancer Awareness Month including Greenleaf, REVOLVE, and F45 Gym in Manhattan Beach (just to name a few! Click here for the full list of partners giving back this month).
We have come miles in research and technology since when my own family was impacted. It’s imperative that we spread the knowledge we’ve collected over the years to create a movement and inspire people to participate in our fight to finding a cure for this disease. With the help of social media and business partnerships, the work being done at Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research will be highlighted. I am hopeful that our efforts during this month will bring awareness to those who may not know they need it.