Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cancer - The Real Equalizer

Look around you, who do you see? Does she look like you? Is her lifestyle like yours? Does she drive a fancy car? Does she live in a McMansion? Is she famous? Does she have breast cancer?

Did that last question throw you off and feel like it doesn’t belong? Guess again. It’s THE question that connects all of us. Whether it’s breast cancer or any other disease, it is the only discriminator that brings equality to all of us. It matters not if you are rich or not so rich, pretty or not so pretty, young or not so young, we all get sick. The BIG thing that makes a difference for all of us is how we plan to pay for our medical bills when we do get a major disease. Many women do not have medical insurance to help cover expenses and even those who have medical insurance the out of pocket expenses can devastate a budget (my own expenses ran over $10,000).

Did you know that 50% of family bankruptcies are due to medical expenses?

Did you know that those who do not have medical insurance delay medical attention and are almost as twice as likely to die within 5 years as those with insurance?

Some sources estimate the total cost for breast cancer treatment somewhere between $75,000 to $200,000 depending on the type of treatment received.

Now you can see that many women and families just can’t afford to cover medical expenses for breast cancer. They not only have to fight for their lives but at the same time they have to worry about where the money will come from. And did I mention that most never saw it coming?

Thank goodness for organizations whose mission is to provide financial support to these sheroes. Their support only goes as far as their funds permit. One such organization who is making a difference for so many women is the The Pink Fund. It provides financial aid for medical and household expenses to get women through treatment and back to work. The Pink Fund was founded by Molly MacDonald, a five year breast cancer survivor who knows firsthand what it’s like to need financial assistance while undergoing breast cancer treatment. Watch for a post soon on Molly and The Pink Fund.

While I agree that money needs to be raised for research so that one day the word breast cancer won’t be part of our vocabulary, I absolutely know that there isn’t nearly a large enough voice for the many women who need financial assistance. If you want to support these sheroes, before you give to a breast cancer non-profit with this mission please be sure to ask how much of their revenue raised actually goes to these sheroes. Look for organizations whose mission is to put as much money raised in the hands of our sheroes….they need you. Please consider making a donation to The Pink Fund as they are one organization truly dedicated to sheroes...thank you!

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