The 20th of October is Wear it Pink day in support of Breast Cancer Now, and I’m fundraising for the cause. Some of you know that it’s something that affected me, not directly but close enough, as my mother has been a breast cancer patient for the past 2 years. Her fantastic hair I’m really envious of…that’s a wig. A really good one you’d never guess is fake, but still she had gone through the trauma of losing something that is so tied to our identity as women when going through chemo. Having such a close history of breast cancer in the family means that my brother and I have an increased risk of developing breast cancer (yes, my brother…men can get breast cancer too) ourselves.
While Mother is receiving the best possible care in one of the best specialist clinics in Europe and will hopefully be in remission, it’s something that never really goes away. You spend the rest of your life worrying that it might come back, and for many it does, and not everyone will survive it twice if they were lucky the first time (which not everyone is). I feel like there is no need to say. Chances are some of you are cancer survivors, or know one, or have lost someone to cancer: it’s everywhere, and it’s causing too much suffering. This year, over 50,000 women will hear the words “It’s breast cancer”, and around 11,500 will die from it in the UK alone.
What Breast Cancer Now does is fund research into breast cancer so that by 2050 we will live in a world where every woman who hears those words will live.
As a Catholic, I feel that I have to explain my decision as it’s often been criticised on the basis of a misunderstanding of what the Church teaches in the area. People believe stem cells only come from embryos and therefore the Church teaches against. While it’s true that stem cells from embryos are something the Church is firmly against, it’s also true that cancer research is based in adult stem cells and in fact the Vatican funds research. More on the subject here.
Some people also object to donating to associations that don’t support the position that abortion is linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Breast Cancer Now literature suggests that there is no significant proof in research that abortion itself increase breast cancer, however it talks extensively about the impact of hormones on the risk, which would qualify the morning after pill and the abortion pill as a grey area at best. Since my opposition to abortion has nothing to do with whether or not it increases breast cancer this objection is irrelevant to me, but if it isn’t irrelevant to you then by all means do what your conscience dictates. I’ll act by mine.
You can follow my pink-haired adventures as I go around with a fundraising box on social media. If you feel so inclined, I have set up a PayPal Giving account for the occasion. If you are a UK Taxpayer and would like to GiftAid the donation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Wear it Pink: Gift Aid” and your full name, address and the amount donated, stating that you wish to claim Gift Aid on the donation and understand that the donor needs to pay the same amount or more of UK Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax as all charities and CASCs will claim on the donor’s gifts in a tax year and that the donor is responsible to pay any difference should they pay less tax than the amount donated (it’s a legal requirement for me to ask you that).