Pink is big in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this year is no exception. But some survivors, like two-time Climb Against the Odds team member Ann Maechtlen, are looking for something more, reports the Sacramento Bee:
Ann Maechtlen, formerly of Redding, is one who has lost faith in the bigger organizations. Years before she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she joined in walkathons like the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life to honor cancer survivors. "It was a great thing, especially in the days when people couldn't even talk about the disease," Maechtlen says.
Now, she avoids the parade of pink walkers and product promotions. She feels they trumpet a superficial notion of "awareness," even if some groups do good things with the money raised and promote great solidarity among survivors and families.
"It tugs at your heartstrings, but I can't get behind it anymore," she says. "For the most part, everyone is perpetuating the Big Business of cancer."
For survivors of breast cancer and their families, it can be very healing to contribute to group activities. After nine grueling months of chemotherapy, Maechtlen joined an organized hike to the summit of Mount Shasta, up 14,179 feet, which raised about $13,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund, a charity she believes in because of its focus on prevention and environmental-factor research. (Read complete article.)