We don’t need more empty awareness – we need action

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Christie AllenBy Christie Allen, Breast Cancer Action member

My name is Christie Allen. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 at the age of 32. I was going to skip October this year – I’ve had enough pink. But instead, I’m taking a stand against the pink ribbon distraction and I want you to join me.

Like many people who have faced or are facing breast cancer, the month when all things go pink to “raise awareness” triggers post-traumatic stress disorder-like symptoms for me. I’m not exaggerating – for some of us, the sea of pink ribbons literally makes it hard to get out of bed or leave the house. The experience of cancer changes everything for those who face it.

For the rest of my life, I’ll leave voice messages for my family that start with “Don’t worry, I’m not calling with bad news…” because of the time I had to call with news of my breast cancer diagnosis. That call shifted their world and mine off its axis. I learned the hard way that cancer isn’t pretty and there’s nothing “pink” about it.

Who isn’t aware of breast cancer? We don’t need more empty awareness. We need action.

Buying a pink can of soup or using a pink trash can or going braless for a day – none of this changes anything for me and for so many people like me who have breast cancer. Not a single thing.

I’m not skipping October this year. I’m standing up and taking action instead. Join me in pushing back against pink – tell the breast cancer industry to Stop the Distraction of pink ribbon products and promotions.

If you really want to support people with breast cancer this October, take a stand against some of the most egregious companies that are taking advantage of our goodwill, profiteering off this disease, and distracting the movement from meaningful progress on breast cancer. Please join me in demanding real change to address this disease that is affecting so many of us.

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