Blog Action Day is an annual event, that has run since 2007. It’s aim is to unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around things that impact us all. This year the focus is on “The Power of We”, a celebration of people working together to make a positive difference in the world, either for their own communities or for people they will never meet half way around the world. I’ve chosen to profile Shocking Pink.
Founded in 2011 by two young women undergoing cancer treatment, Shocking Pink has been established to provide a point of contact, knowledge centre and forum for young women with breast cancer. They also work to raise awareness and highlight research of breast cancer in the young and represent the unique views and concerns of young women with breast cancer.
Kylie Richardson is one of the co-founders. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 at the age of 27. A mastectomy, six months of chemo and one month of radiation followed but with the support of family and friends she made it out the other side. She maintains a positive outlook on life, saying “Now on hormone therapy for 2 years, my ideal life plan has been altered somewhat, but I have been afforded new opportunities out of this – like co-founding Shocking Pink!”
Cheryle Robins is the other co-founder and her cause is near and dear to me as she was diagnosed with the same rare breast cancer as my mother. At just 34, she was diagnosed with rare and aggressive Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) while still breastfeeding her 1-year-old son. After 16 treatments of chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy and 25 sessions of radiation, she is now out the other side but having continued hormone therapy. She also has inherited the BRCA2 breast cancer gene mutation and faces further prophylactic surgery in the future. All of this could understandably get you down but she states “With the unconditional love and support of my boys, my family and amazing friends I have been able to co-found Shocking Pink and create something positive from my situation.”
Their website has a whole host of articles that can be useful when first diagnosed with cancer and they are not afraid to say it how it really is – some honest advice include WTF?, Why not her?, The Boob Obsession & Frisky Business – yes, about what your sex life may be like post-cancer diagnosis and treatment. Of similar usefulness is the Little Pink Book directory which shows you where to access products and services that can help you during treatment – any charitable organisation that compares the Ministry of Health to Harry Potter‘s Ministry of Magic is alright by me!
Ways you can support Shocking Pink:
- purchase a fundraising item from their online store
- making a donation – the variety of ways in which you can do that are shown here
- contribute content – be it through telling your own story, leaving your feedback or becoming part of their Little Pink Book directory
- Run your own fundraising event or volunteer
There are many great breast cancer awareness and support organisations out there but I think that Shocking Pink really fills a void in terms of information that missing. Breast Cancer is not only an elderly women’s disease – my mother was diagnosed at 45 and passed away at 49 – yet many of the resources out there are targeted at that older age range. Support Shocking Pink and help them harness the power of we!
You can find other participants of Blog Action Day here!