Every year someone has a rant about Pink being hijacked by Cancer campaigns . Cancer Charities are accused of making cancer ' Sexy' , trivialised, synthetic, and juvenile. It is seen as a pink plastic money-making machine. So this year, instead of smiling politely I thought I would explain why I am happy to embrace PINK.
Pink is one of the colours a bruise becomes after a needle biopsy.
Pink is the colour we blush , if shy, when we reveal our breasts to Doctors and Nurses. They may have seen it all before, but for some of us it is a difficult process to bare all.
Pink is the colour we go after physical exertion. When we have run a Marathon,walked a Moonwalk, Raced for Life. When we have crossed the finish line with a group of people all of whom have taken part because they want to make a difference, remember a loved one or because they themselves have cancer and do not want to feel defeated by the diagnosis, we are glowing as the blood rushes to our faces.
Pink is the colour of my eyes after a night-time crying because my Mother did not share her fear of what she had found and so suffered in silence and did not seek help.
Pink is the accent colour my dear friend Susie told me to wear as I wore too much black.
I was told it would highlight my best attributes.
Although we can no longer have conversations her advice is still with me and I use her advice to highlight my battlefields. At the time I had not recognised my attributes or how to harness them. I am now wiser.
Red may be associated with violence, battle, blood and war. I prefer a calmer warzone.
Pink for me, is associated with advocacy, communication and knowledge. Highlighting the darkness of black with a strong impact but in a less violent way. A more feminine approach, because after all I am a woman.
Pink is a colour I wear with pride, not just because it suits me, but because I find it difficult to ask for money, to expose my feelings, to share my fears.
I find it a softer way to advocate.
Part of the armour I wear to protect myself is my pink lipstick.
I wear it as an armour to guard my words when speaking.
To keep my lips together when listening .
To leave a kiss when words are not necessary but a touch is. If you can’t hear my words you will see my smile- it is genuine- I do care. This may sound trite but I firmly believe that my Mother liked my smile, 'you are always smiling' she said, inside my heart was breaking, but I had to show her that I was always happy to see her , no matter what time of day or night.
To me PINK is strong. We can have fun with bright colours whilst raising awareness for a valuable cause.
I have chosen to support Breakthrough Breast Cancer in a major way. Because I believe in research and I believe in support. A charity that can help fund new drugs that are less destructive and more individualised can only lead to a more targeted treatment program. A charity that cares about working with Hospitals and their Breast Units to help individual Women and Men feel that they are listened to. That their opinion and experiences matter and that they can contribute to change in even the smallest of ways has my commitment.
Above all, a charity that makes you feel valuable as a supporter .
Its bold attributes make their mark and all contribute towards Breakthroughs passion for a future free from the fear of breast cancer.
My Mother did not live long enough to see her Granddaughter graduate, her Grandsons go to University and her other Grandchildren grow up.
Ultimately, if one woman is saved from early death by not being afraid to seek help, because she has 'Touched, Looked and Checked' her breasts. It will be worth it.
“Finding breast cancer early could save your life. Know the signs, text TLC to 84424* for your free handy TLC guide from Breakthrough Breast Cancer, or register at www.tlcguide.org.
*Standard networks apply”
I will be willing to go PINK talking about this dreadful disease for the rest of my life.