Feature photo by leah.jones. Above photo by zappowbang

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Find out how you can get involved!

I know many too many women with breast cancer.

A great aunt, two close friends and quite a few other family members. My mother does breast cancer research and is herself a survivor who has been in remission for seven years. She works in the same lab where her own biopsy was diagnosed. Statistics tell me there is a 1 in 8 chance that I may one day be fighting as well.

So what can I — and all of you — do now, to prevent, educate and support in the fight?

Take care of yourself first.

Learn what you can do to educate yourself, prevent and protect yourself from breast cancer. This includes, among other things, monthly self exams and yearly mammograms. If you find something suspicious, talk to a doctor immediately.

Shave something for solidarity.

Your head, your beard or whatever other body part makes sense.

This year at Burning Man, my good friend Stephanie and husband, Noah both sheared their locks to support our friend Gail. It was without a doubt the most meaningful event of the entire week.

Another friend of ours is shaving his beard for the first time this decade to be part of Movember, a yearly mustache growing charity event held in November each year to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, because, remember, not only women get breast cancer.

Open yourself to listen and really hear what a friend with cancer has to say. Finally, I call on all of you to share your own experiences and resources by leaving a comment below.
Create Community

Lotsa Helping Hands allows you to develop a “free-of-charge, private, web-based community to organize family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues for someone currently undergoing treatment.”

There you can develop a framework to provide meals, rides to and from the hospital and whatever else might be needed.

Create Your Own Fundraising and Awareness Event

Passionately Pink, part of Susan G Komen for the Cure, gives you all the resources and materials you need to set mobilize friends, family and even strangers to raise money and work toward a cure. You can join an already existing team or run an event of your own.

Listen and Share

Too often, we believe those with cancer don’t want to talk about it. In truth, it’s more likely our own discomfort causes us not to ask questions. Instead, open yourself to listen and really hear what a friend with cancer has to say.

Finally, I call on all of you to share your own experiences and resources by leaving a comment below.

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