Classic Ann’s Diary: Pink Ribbon Awareness Month

(Editor’s note: Ann Murray Paige used to joke that breast cancer deserved more than one month, that after all, women get breast cancer 12 months of the year. She also said many times that “the irony is not lost on me that I found out my cancer had come back during October–Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” She wrote many times about this month of pink, and here is one of my favorites. This is the start of a new series of classics–the best of Ann–that will run from time to time on Project Pink Diary. It reminds us of the faces behind the sea of pink. And speaking of October–please visit our Project Pink Facebook page for more information and links to sign up as a “virtual runner” for the big Project Pink 5K fundraiser on October 25th.–LP)

So here we are, another Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I was hoping we’d be over this by now, that we’d have beaten the beast.  But we haven’t.  We still have a long way to go.  And thank goodness we are lucky enough to have a month to remind the world that breast cancer is an evil still yet to be destroyed.


And this is the month that you’ll see pink ribbons donning soup cans from Sacramento to New York City, from Tuscon to Salt Lake City.  And you may wonder, why do they matter.  They’re everywhere , and  you may get tired of seeing them.  I mean, they’re on soup cans for heaven’s sake. What do they really  mean?  

I’m here to put a face to those pink ribbons: they mean me. And they mean my friend Carolyn and my friend Christopher’s grandmother and my young friend Mel and all the people who email me at Project Pink who’ve seen my film–I’m talking every 1 in 8 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States.

I know “the Pink” is everywhere this October, but so are we. And we need you to stand by us as we fight to get through another day without caving.  We are as ubiquitous as that pink ribbon you see. We’re your mother or your sister or your daughter–we are 1 in every single 8 women in this country who get hit with a disease that threatens our health and our hope and our lives. We are standing next to you at the grocery store as you pick up that pink ribboned soup can. 

And we, all of us, thank you from the bottom of our breast cancer hearts–because those hearts are still beating thanks to the help you give us.  Thanks to the donations you make and the walks you take and the ribbons you buy that have that rose hue and that meaning behind it.

Each one of us thanks you for tying that ribbon on any way you can;  so that some day–in part because of your simple effort this month, that pink ribbon may once and for all become obsolete, never to be tied around a soup can again. (October 1, 2010 by Ann Murray Paige)

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Posted October 1st, 2014