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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As October comes to a close, so does Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

In this final week of October, Her Campus Temple held a bake sale fundraiser to raise money for the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation. This foundation was founded by the friends and family of Linda Creed Epstein, a musician who died at age 37 after a 10-year battle with breast cancer. The Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation focuses on early detection and treatment of breast cancer, hoping to eradicate breast cancer altogether. Their site states, “Our motto is Fighting Breast Cancer with Heart, but our vow is we will be there until breast cancer is not.”

This fundraiser was very close to my heart as this month marked sixth months since my family lost my aunt to breast cancer.

This is my Aunt Connie (left) with her sister, my Aunt Cathy (right) participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in 2011.

My incredibly resilient Aunt Connie fought the good fight against breast cancer for over seven years. She was such a strong woman and still inspires me every day that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. She spent 30 years as a nurse at Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia, touching the lives of countless people along the way. I have always admired my Aunt Connie, especially for her fiery disposition and not to mention her remarkable fashion sense. During her battle with cancer, she participated in many different fundraisers and walks to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. After participating for a few years, she helped raise over $6,000 for the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. This past weekend, her friends and family raised over $1,000 in my aunt’s name for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides fundraiser.

Some people don’t understand the need for breast cancer awareness. According to NationalBreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 women in the US will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and is the second leading cause of deaths among women. But there are also currently 3.3 million breast cancer survivors in the US. An estimated 2,470 men are also be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. It’s crucial that all women are made aware of how to self-check for the symptoms of breast cancer and visit the doctor routinely.

As this month comes to a close, besides adding a few extra pink accents to my wardrobe, I keep thinking of the urgency for the need to find a cure for breast cancer. Breast cancer has claimed the lives of our aunts, grandmothers, mothers, sisters, the list goes on and on. No words can heal the agony of losing a loved one. But one thing I do ask: please be kind to those around you. In fact, go out of your way to be kind to others and spread sunshine wherever you go, like my Aunt Connie always did. You most likely don’t know what’s going on in your co-worker, classmate, or even roommate’s life. Next time your roommate is acting distant, don’t be so quick to jump down her throat and pick a fight. I’m blessed to be surrounded by a big, loving family that has supported one another in these past few months. Losing my aunt to breast cancer was the hardest thing I have ever lived through. But she has left a legacy of strength and hope as we march on towards a cure.

For more information about the Linda Creed Foundation and how to get involved, visit their website here.

– Natalie Crane

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