In late 2004 I was diagnose with breast cancer. Thankfully, my cancer was still in the early stages. Once diagnosed I underwent surgery and radiation and have been cancer free ever since.
I owe a debt to all those who work on breast cancer awareness. At one point in time, breast cancer was rarely detected early enough to do anything about it and it was generally fatal. That has changed, thanks to the hard work of countless researchers, doctors, other medical professionals, and many, many volunteers.
More women than ever are detecting this disease earlier, getting more successful treatments, and living in greater numbers than ever. While these developments and changes are great, I contend that it is still not enough. There are far too many women who have died of this disease, who can’t be with us today, and we all owe a debt to those that made our survival and the survival of our loved ones possible.
I have a young granddaughter and young great granddaughter. It is my wish that they do not have to go through what I and so many others have had to go through. It is my desire that in their lifetime a day will come when no women die of this disease.
It will take all of us and many more, working together, to achieve this goal of eventually eliminating breast cancer related deaths. Despite being a lofty goal, I think it is one well worth fighting for.
The funding for critical research and the funding to teach our future researchers is so important. The funding for proper detection and treatment also must be made available to all women. We cannot let this issue get caught in the crossfire of other fights.
Appropriations by government at all levels funds is always a competition between well deserving causes. Legislatures have to prioritize the use of limited resources and often the deciding factor in what is funded or not, requires public input.
I am always fighting this fight and it is important that we make sure that my fellow colleagues at the State and Federal level all across this nation know how important it is to fund the fight against breast cancer. We must let every elected official know we will keep fighting breast cancer until it is a distant memory and they had better be fighting along with us.
There may be only one month recognized for breast cancer awareness, but those of us who have survived breast cancer and the friends and family, who stood by our sides know that this is a 24 hour a day, 365 days of a year type of fight.
We know we owe a debt to those who made our recovery possible by keeping their work moving forward and ridding this world of breast cancer. We owe it not only to them but the millions of young women who follow in our footsteps.