Thursday, October 07, 2010

Promise Me (copy)

I thought I was seeing things. My legs were achy and I thought possibly my mind was going. It was the ninth mile in an 11 mile Sunday morning run when I looked up and saw a hot pink fire truck. I literally rubbed my eyes and looked again only to see another pass by on the interstate. No, I wasn’t delirious. The next one went by and on the attached trailer was a huge breast cancer awareness ribbon decorated in camouflage.

To my relief, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I was seeing something real! It was a short convoy of fire engines on the Pink Heals Tour. They were coming from Orange Beach, AL into Memphis for an event that day.

The Pink Heals Tour is a group of all male firefighters who travel the country raising awareness of the disease. Their Facebook page says, “These men honor those who can no longer fight, stand with those who can fight and inspire those who watch.”

I want to continue that spirit by introducing you to a new book on the subject. Before I begin, there are a ton of breast cancer books. Many are “how-to” survive or care for someone and then plenty of survivor stories. Sadly, our shelves bulge over.

I am excited to be holding the new book Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer by Nancy G. Brinker. Nancy is the founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and her sister, Suzy, was diagnosed in 1977 with the dreaded disease.

The two Goodman sisters were best friends who grew up in postwar Peoria, Illinois. They lived an idyllic life. The book jacket says, “The sisters shared makeup tips, dating secrets, (and) plans for glamorous fantasy careers.” All this future planning was cut short with Suzy’s death sentence.

It is thanks to Suzy and Nancy that the stigma associated with breast cancer is finally a memory. Suzy lost her life to the disease three years late at the age of 36. Nancy made the promise to look for a cure as she lay dying. She began the foundation two years after her sister’s death and two year before she too was diagnosed with the disease.

The book is filled with side stories such as the first documented case located in Egyptian papyri and Fanny Burney’s mastectomy. Oh, I cannot wait to read it!

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