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A Terrible Disease Kills Thousands Every Year. Let's Stop Pretending It's Cute.

There are over 200,000 new cases of breast cancer every year.

A Terrible Disease Kills Thousands Every Year. Let's Stop Pretending It's Cute.

Despite what some organizations might want you to think, beating breast cancer has nothing to do with wearing pink and buying specially branded lemonade and perfume. It's going to take much, much more than that and many more people like these women.

The video is worth watching, but I want to pull out one quote in particular that addresses the language often used when talking about breast cancer: comparing it to fighting a battle or a battle to be won. The truth is, breast cancer isn't something you can "win" against. Emphasis mine:


I don't adhere to the belief that if you just fight hard enough that you'll live. Cause I know a lot of really strong people who have fought really hard and had great attitudes and hadn't lived.

We don't survive. I mean we're not survivors because for one thing there's always the fear of recurrence.

The truth is no matter how long a woman lives after a breast cancer diagnosis her body, her finances, her relationships, her psyche bare a lifelong toll of this diagnosis.

We need to make sure that we have more effective and less toxic treatments. So that fewer women are dying. And we need to end this epidemic so there are less diagnoses in the first place.





For some women, the pink ribbons and the battle metaphors and hopes for a cure are comforting and helpful, and that's fine. A breast cancer diagnosis can be scary, and the pink ribbon campaigns create a sense of community.

But this quote brings up a great point: Looking for a cure is important, but how many pink ribbon organizations do you know that talk actively about finding ways to prevent breast cancer? Pink ribbons are cute and marketable. A cure is marketable. Prevention is not cute, and it's not marketable. But breast cancer *can* be prevented. And pink ribbons aren't for everyone.

So where would you rather your money go? Toward making more pink ribbons? Or figuring out how to prevent more women from getting breast cancer in the first place? I know my answer.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Jeff Bridges photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikicommons

An image from Jeff Bridges' personal note on his website

Way to bury the lead, Jeff! Yesterday's news of Jeff Bridges' cancer remission revealed the beloved Hollywood icon also faced COVID 19, which had him hospitalized for over a month. This put many things on hold, including filming for his new FX thriller series Old Man.

Taking on chemotherapy is no easy task. Pile that onto losing smell, restricted breathing, and medical isolation, and anyone would want to throw in the towel. But for the ever optimistic Bridges, dealing with two health crises simultaneously became a beautiful life lesson, which he shared in a handwritten letter found on his website.


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