In October, we wear pink.
This month, as you know, is dedicated to the thousands and thousands of women afflicted with breast cancer, yearly. You see and hear it everywhere. Pink is incorporated into your favorite football players’ uniforms. Your Facebook friends Walk for a Cure. Organizations on your campus hold philanthropies and ask for donations, but for the most part, it’s not something you really think about. Your coffee comes in a pink cup this month (at your local shop, not Starbs), which brightens your day, but for the most part, you live your life, blissfully negligent of the 220,000 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone, 40,000 of whom will die.
One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. One in eight. But none of them are you. None of them are your mother. None of them are your sister. None of them are your friends, and it’s not that you don’t care, but you’re not invested. Not really.
But for some people, breast cancer isn’t just an excuse to raise awareness and wear pink once a year. It’s their reality.
Julie Dobbs is a Chi Omega alumna who went to Mizzou, and a good friend to some of the guys here at TFM (including one of our founders), who describe her as “charismatic and driven.” At 28 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer. She began chemotherapy this month and will continue it for the next four months before undergoing a mastectomy, followed by radiation. After attending a class on chemotherapy, she learned “That chemo isn’t going to be fun, but on the bright side I get a free thermometer, pill box, and lip balm. But I’m most excited about the lip balm.” Feel you on the lip balm addiction, Jules.
As a freelance producer and reporter for Fox Sports (who’s worked with the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, and Dallas Cowboys!), she has decent medical insurance but will still be responsible for significant out-of-pocket expenses. On top of that, freelancers have to put in a lot of hours to earn their income. As long as Julie is undergoing treatment, she will be unable to work her normal schedule which means she will have a dramatic reduction in income. In case you were wondering, beating cancer costs money.
She is lucky to have friends and family at her side, and her best friend, Jessie, is giving “best friend” a new meaning (it’s not a tier anymore, you guys, it’s a person). Jessie has set up a donation page in hopes of raising enough money to get her bestie through her treatments, so she may beat this horrible illness, and resume her young life as the fun, passionate, life of the party she’s always been.
Julie is just one of thousands to hear the horrifying news each year that she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer, and no one knows that more than she does. Even in my correspondences with her, she made it clear (sweetly, of course), that this is not a battle that she is fighting alone, and that this experience has opened up her eyes to breast cancer as a whole — not just her own illness.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, TFM invites you to support breast cancer with us to help give those battling this disease a fighting chance, and to show them that they have the support of people they may never even meet. We have pledged donations to Julie’s personal page for treatments, medications, surgeries, and other related health expenses. If you’d like to get involved, and see your money directly helping someone, click here. If you’re someone who would rather support the cause as a whole, we ask that you donate to the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas, a facility for patients with all types of cancer, that offers “the highest level of quality breast care” getting it recognized by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers.
This October, don’t just wear pink. Don’t just think pink. Act on it.