Army of Women

GRIN # 251

I was asked today by a good friend to blog about breast cancer. Not exactly a grin-worthy subject, but this is important.

Actually, The Avon Foundation and the Dr. Susan Love Foundation issued a nationwide invitation to all bloggers today to take up the cause. Now guys, don’t stop reading. Think of the women in your life–your mothers, daughters, sisters and wives.

Maybe you’re sick of hearing about breast cancer. Maybe you feel it’s “been done” enough. Agreed. I’d totally like to bury breast cancer–to wipe it out completely like we did with smallpox a few decades ago. But this year alone, more than 250,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 40,000 women will die from it.

That’s a lot of women. This hits really close to home, too. A relative of mine was diagnosed two years ago. Breast cancer is one big hell-ride. I didn’t know I had that many tears. The treatment is almost worse than the disease. Almost. But it’s all we’ve got. And there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. alone. So we’re doing something right.

But much of our research is done on mice and other lab animals. For years Dr. Love, a breast cancer surgeon,  heard researchers say if they had women to study instead of mice, they would have found a cure by now. So she created her own foundation and joined up with the Avon Foundation to recruit 1 million women for breast cancer research. To date they’ve signed on 338,000 women, including me.

The “Army of Women” needs women with clear mammograms, survivors and those undergoing treatment–basically all women. There are studies going on all over the country. Sometimes they simply need women to answer online questionnaires about lifestyle. Other studies are more involved. You can be involved as much or as little as you want. It’s your choice.

They might not find a cure for breast cancer in my lifetime, but if there’s anything I can do to ensure that the women who come behind me never have to go through what I’ve witnessed, I’m in.


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