Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877


By Jana Mathia
Gazette Production 

From hype to help


November 1, 2018

During a recent visit to Colfax, my son asked about the pink X things. I told him it was to raise people's awareness of breast cancer and the people who pass through that ordeal. There sure are a lot of the pink ribbons; people must really be aware, then.

Are they?

For those who put a pink ribbon on their window, how are you more aware of breast cancer and what have you done about it? Some people spent money on buying a variety of pink decorations. How much money did they put toward cancer research or survivor care?

Some people spent a lot of time making or putting up those decorations. How much time did they spend talking to a cancer fighter or survivor?

Dozens of pink ribbons appeared on buildings all over Colfax. Did any cards, flowers or meals appear at the doors of people who have cancer?

This is not to disrespect the pink ribbon, but a reality check. It is not about the breast cancer, not about the ta-tas or whatever name is given to the two mammary glands that adorn about half the world's population.

It needs to be about the person, the soul, behind the breasts; about the heart and mind of the individual who is fighting to live. They are fighting to the point of exhaustion, sickness and amputation. The pink ribbon can't give them a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a ride to the doctor or a warm meal when they are too worn out to cook.

A local business owner wore the pink shirt to publicize the month. But her true pink ribbon moment happened years ago when she spent her Christmas vacation crocheting caps for her mother-in-law who was losing her hair due to chemo after a double mastectomy. The hats were made of whatever yarn she had, some of it pink. But it wasn't the color of the yarn that mattered, it was what was done with it and the love and support it conveyed to a person who would succumb to cancer of the liver and colon two years later.

There are amazing stories of fighters and survivors who have faced breast cancer, be a sentence of cheer in those stories.

Spending money on decorations is nice. Spending it in ways that truly help them is better. Spending time on decorations is nice. Spending it with those people fighting is invaluable.

As the time comes to take the decorations down, lift your eyes from the pile of pink ribbons on the floor and find a way to truly help your neighbors and friends.


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