Today is the final day of Breast Cancer Awareness month. As I was doing my early morning perusal of news, I came upon this article in USA Today: Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients. There were two words in the headline that caught my attention, campaigns and patients.
I want to be careful as I write this because I am not downplaying campaigns to raise awareness to a disease or to educate people to watch for their health. Yes, I guess I am enough of an old fogey to find all the talk of “boobies” and “tatas” to be embarrassingly over the top, but perhaps there is a point that it gets the message to a younger generation. At the same time, I trust is does not really take a gimmick to inform them of something so serious.
However, it wasn’t the primary thesis of the article that got me to thinking. It was this statement by Lana Horn, a breast cancer survivor, “Save the tatas? No, save the women. A lot of us had to give up our tatas to live.” This thought encapsulates my motivation for starting the I Do It For Foundation.
It seems that in many ways as we have waged war on cancer we have lost our way in a marketing machine. The campaign has become such a focus that we have forgotten the people. It is easy for us to lose sight of the needs of individuals when we are attacking a huge enemy.
We may find ourselves sitting in a marketer’s conference room thinking of how a certain slogan sounds so hip while forgetting the effect that it may have on the very people we are trying to help. “Yeah, that will really advance our cause!” However, maybe at times it is good to set the “cause” aside and focus on people.
The I Do It For Foundation wants to do just that. We want to make the people with the problem the focus. Yes, there is marketing involved. There may even be some nifty slogans. However, we want it to be done to lift up and encourage. We want to draw attention to the individual and not the problem they face.
I am thankful for those organizations fighting the larger battle — especially those focused on direct research. I hope that I Do It For will be used to support some of those groups. However, my dream is that the foundation will be used by thousands to show their love and give tangible support to individuals who need it during a time of trial.
It’s not about the tatas. It is about people like Lana Horn… and most likely, someone you love.
I am not a ribbon, a color, or a disease.
I am a person. I have a name.
Do it for me.