Breast Cancer Awareness Month
A global response by the GoFundMe community
Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common cancer for women. The numbers are daunting: 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2011 alone. And most of us are already too familiar with the disease from a loved one’s diagnosis.
For this Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’d like to shine a light on some of the human stories of breast cancer from around the world. They are stories of hope, struggle, and bravery in the fight against this terrible disease.
20-year-old Cayley lost her mum earlier this year after a long, courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer. To honor her mother’s legacy and advocate for other women like her, Cayley started this campaign to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, which will direct half of its donations toward metastatic breast cancer research. Cayley writes: “It is time to come together and fight cancer before it takes more lives of those we love.”
An engineering student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Maddie is showing the difference just one person can make during Breast Cancer Awareness month. For the past year, she’s been growing her hair out, and now she’s ready to shave it off on October 31 for a benefit auction. In addition to the money raised at the event, she’s raised five times her original goal on her GoFundMe. All the donations she’s raised will go to Breast Cancer Action Ottawa, a small non-profit organization that supports breast cancer patients and survivors in the Ottawa region.
Earlier this year, Naomie’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. There was a reality her mom was going to face: losing the long, beautiful hair that was integral to her identity. This was the beginning of a quest for Naomie: She began researching ways to preserve her mother’s hair in a custom, wearable wig. As it turns out, Naomie is as crafty as she is entrepreneurial, so she has founded PELZ’HAIR (a pun on her last name, Pelzer) to help other women create natural-looking wigs that boost their self-esteem during cancer treatment.
About 80% of breast cancer cases are curable. But for the other 20%, the cancer becomes metastatic (meaning the cancer spreads into other areas of the body) — and incurable. This campaign is organized by women who belong in those 20% of cases, where currently the best hope is delaying the disease as long as possible. These women, from all across Spain, are organizing and fundraising for research to find the genetic causes of these cancers and drugs to fight them. They are fighting for their lives and for all women battling the deadliest forms of breast cancer.
Kat Roberts is a breast cancer survivor who wants to advocate for women like herself who have had mastectomies and breast reconstruction. After living for two years with reconstructed breasts but no nipples, she met a tattoo artist who was able to give her “nipples” again and regain her confidence. Now Kat wants to pay it forward by performing similar tattoos for other women with breast reconstructions. Once her campaign reaches her goal, she’ll be well on her way.
This campaign benefitting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is truly a family affair: Kevin is just your average dad who enjoys dyeing his hair green for St. Patrick’s Day. This year, he teamed up with his daughter Maddie to start a charity campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness Month — all while dyeing his hair (and goatee!) pink. On their 30th wedding anniversary on October 17, Kevin’s wife Leila donated $300 to the cause — ten dollars for every year together. So far, Kevin has raised twice his original goal, and Maddie is documenting the whole month of pink-haired fun for a good cause.
How are you taking action this Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Let us know in a response below.