Again with the misleading blog title! No, I am not really pimping breast cancer, but I am also way too busy with a crazy life right now to write a substantive blog, so instead I want to plug the one and only breast cancer fundraising event that I am committed to join. Last year for the first time I walked in the local breast cancer walk in Beverly on the south side of Chicago. The walk is always on Mother's Day. I signed up well before I knew I had cancer, and the walk took place just five days after I was diagnosed. I barely remember it. I think the next day was the last time I nursed my son. That whole week was a nightmare.
And it didn't occur to me then that I would be a direct recipient of the funds raised for that walk. The event benefits a local hospital, Little Company of Mary. They have built a very respectable cancer center there, especially for such a small hospital. In recent years this walk has enabled the hospital to buy a new mammography machine as well as new radiation equipment. I did radiation at this hospital, and I used all of their radiation machines, including the CT machine, at some point. The people were very nice and professional, and apparently the radiation was done very well, because I developed no long-term skin or muscle issues from it. The doctor answered the phone himself when I had a question and I never had to wait for an appointment. It was that doctor who helped me through mastitis when I couldn't get to Northwestern. I really believe it saved my sanity (and being able to go local for radiation saves a lot of people their jobs) to not have to travel for hours a day, every day for seven weeks, in order to get to a quality cancer treatment downtown or on the north side of Chicago.
We need more institutions with good services in traditionally under-served areas of metropolitan communities, so I encourage you to support this event, either by walking with or donating to my small team if you feel so inclined. To do this, when you go to the following link, you can either go to register now and click "join a team" and look for the team KatyDid Cancer, or you can choose "sponsor walker" and search for Katy Jacob. You could obviously just donate to the walk, join another team, or walk by yourself without tying it to me or my team at all.
To me, this is very different than the walks or events that somehow "benefit breast cancer research" or that benefit large organizations that need to put fundraising dollars back into marketing or overhead buckets of their budgets. This one is very specific, and in my case, it is very close to home--literally and figuratively.
Last year I remember thinking that in May 2011, I would be bald, or that I might not be around at all. Neither or those things are true, and now I will be one of those women who is honored at the walk, for better or worse. So I will feel honored, though not happy, and I will be walking with some very cute little redheads. Maybe we will see you there!