When you first start a non-profit especially a Breast Cancer non-profit A LOT & I mean, A LOT of people ask: HOW IS YOUR NON-PROFIT DIFFERENT FROM ANYBODY ELSES?
What they really want to know is– WHY are you so special? WHY are you worth their time? & more importantly WHY is what you are doing worth their money? & you know what—it is okay to ask. In fact, you SHOULD ask. Part of Do“ing” It Like A Woman is being straightforward & powerful–knowing what you want and working hard to achieve it. you know–the whole kicking ass and taking names mantra.
So, i’ll make you a deal here: kick my ass, BUT only as long as you also take our name–take the Do It Like A Woman name & tell everyone. I’m serious, I want US to TALK Breast Cancer to DEATH.
And, that is also why, I’m here the day AFTER our social media launch to answer your questions. In this post, I will focus on what makes Do It Like A Woman shine & sparkle. But, if you have a question about something else or an idea on how you can help us out. TALK to me. I’m here now and forever & ever, & ever, & ever. That is my promise to all of you. There’s a saying that “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” BUT, we all know how UNTRUE that statement is. There are some DEVASTATINGLY DUMB questions that can be asked, but I promise to EVEN answer those.
There is no question WHY Breast Cancer funding is needed. The statistics are astronomical & we all want to save the breasts: that is a universal thing that men & women can agree on. Breasts are awesome.
BUT why you should support Do It Like A Woman is a different question. The simple answer is: We are doing something that no one else is doing. We found something that we were able to cure when it comes to breast cancer and we have set out to cure it.
We at Do It Like A Woman are far less concerned with finding a medical cure for breast cancer and far more concerned with what we can do RIGHT NOW to help breast cancer patients and survivors.
As a Communications major in college, I’d lose all credibility and probably be institutionalized if I wrote here that I was setting out to find a cure for breast cancer. I know it is best to leave the medicine to the scientists–which is why a portion of our donations do benefit cancer institutions nationally who are doing OUTSTANDING work in searching for a cure. HOWEVER, as a Communications major in college, I AM highly trained to SPEAK. And, not just speak in written word but through photography as well. And, for that reason, I CAN confidently and legitimately write here that I have FOUND a CURE for the psychological aftermath that a breast cancer diagnosis can cause. And, it is as simple as a photograph.
Still skeptical? Don’t think there is a psychological problem?
This week, The Washington Post posted a series of articles on the issue of breast cancer, specifically how it relates to African American Women. This is what they found: Breast Cancer is LEAST likely to be diagnosed in African American Women but these women are MORE likely to die from breast cancer . (source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/2012/03/20/gIQAKN3HQS_graphic.html?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost).
Two words: Fear & Silence.
An excerpt from the article:
“Sandra Yates knew. As soon as she felt the pea-size lump in her breast, she was sure it was cancer. Still, she refused to acknowledge it. She wouldn’t go to the doctor. She didn’t tell anyone. And when Breast Cancer Awareness Month rolled around that fall, she wanted no part of it…..It would be nearly nine months before she told herself it was time to act. By then, the lump was the size of a small egg. The diagnosis was Stage 3 breast cancer. Yates, a witty, fiercely independent woman who raised two daughters on her own, doesn’t seem the type to back down from a challenge.”
Could this just be a cultural issue like the article argues? Sure.There’s no doubt that culture plays a huge part in who we are as individuals. BUT–I’d rather see past all the bullshit & look to the real issue: Black or White we are all the SAME. We are HUMAN BEINGS. We feel emotion, we feel pain, and a lot of the time we deal with that emotion and that pain in silence–especially women.
So why is the photography/multimedia campaign so integral to Do It Like A Woman? Why is it a cure?
Let’s circle back to the Washington Post article with another excerpt: “You hear all these stories from these women who had these awesome, victorious experiences. It’s not easy, but they survived, and they’ve survived for long periods and they’re not telling anyone.”
Do It Like A Woman allows breast cancer patients and survivors to SPEAK. It allows them to OWN their cancer. To say to their cancer, themselves, and everyone else: I HAVE OR HAVE HAD CANCER. So What? Look At me NOW. Look at my strength, my power, my beauty. Look at how I am kicking cancer’s ass or have kicked cancer’s ass..How I didn’t let it kick my ass or how I’m not letting it kick mine.
It is the expression of the attitude that is the cure. The photograph is the protest: a not-so silent movement for women to reclaim their femininity–show off their beauty & work what they’ve got without feeling the least bit ashamed, in a platform & in a way in which they are comfortable.
The fact that even one human being has had to suffer from a late stage diagnosis of cancer because of their fear of the cancer is an injustice. One that should outrage you as much as it does me. The fact that there are women out there, women we may interact with day in & day out, who somehow feel less than a woman because of a diagnosis is outraging. The fact that there is a cure for this. That there are people willing to help, people willing to talk to them, spend time with them & document their beauty–that should be encouraging. That SHOULD mean something & that is also why Do It Like A Woman is different, why Do It Like A Woman is worth your support, & why Do It Like A Woman is worth your time.
So, please help support us by spreading the word about us. I’ll say it again & again–We need YOUR HELP in talking Breast Cancer to DEATH.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But, what if that picture was worth a thousand smiles instead? Or a thousand confident, feel-good days? What if it had the power to give a person a thousand more days to live? How about two thousand or ten or twenty thousand? Or, better yet, what if it had the power to give that same person the ability to live a lifetime of 250,000 days or more? What if it was able to make an impact? What if it started a movement? Surely then, it would be more powerful than just a thousand words…& all it takes is YOU.
Like us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/doitlikeawoman
Follow us on Twitter at: @DoItLikeAWoman
If you are interested in more of the excellent work done by the Washington Post, you can view a photo essay of Sandra Yates’ journey here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/black-women-and-breast-cancer/2012/03/20/gIQAUTLeQS_gallery.html
& a video blog of another strong woman who is an inspiration to the DILAW mission. She took control of her cancer by starting a video diary of her battle–documenting her cancer on her own terms: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/fighting-breast-cancer-a-video-diary-258/2012/03/20/gIQA8s2LQS_video.html