People often quote the statistic that the 5 year survival rate for breast cancer is 90%. That might seem high to you, but if you break it down, all that statistic is telling you is that 90% of men and women who are diagnosed with breast cancer survive for 5 years. What happens after 5 years? From my perspective, 5 years is hardly enough years to live out the rest of my life. I want the statistic to be that 100% of women survive breast cancer. Full stop.
You might think that is wishful thinking, but Australia leads the world with breast cancer research and the progress that is being made each day here is significant. There are so many amazing oncologists, breast surgeons and scientists constantly trying to better the ‘statistic’ and that is encouraging. What is needed to keep funding vital research is funding. Cold hard cash. And while big corporates and the mega wealthy shoulder a responsibility to dig into their deep pockets to fund medical research, we can all help in small ways. Whether you give $5, $50 or $500, it can all make a difference. Sometimes though, in the fog of pink that can be breast cancer awareness, it gets difficult to identify where to direct your pennies so that they are being put to good use. If you’re interested in research, here are just two organisation who deserve your dollars.
Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research – Western Australia’s premier adult medical research institute, its priority is to recruit and build internationally renowned highly skilled research teams, comprising doctors, scientists, biostatisticians and pathologists, working together with cutting edge technologies to make new discoveries and translate this new knowledge into more effective treatments and cures. Harry Perkins does excellent, cutting edge research into all womens’ cancers.
National Breast Cancer Foundation – the NBCF has set an aspirational goal of achieving zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030. NBCF-funded research is helping to better understand how breast cancer originates, grows and spreads, in order to develop tests, treatments and interventions to improve outcomes for people with the disease. Also, NBCF is 100% community funded. Enough said.
If you would like to donate during breast cancer awareness month, you can easily donate online. Or, you can donate to a fundraising project that is very close to my heart. One of my fabulous friends Fiona Kemp is shaving her head to raise money for the Harry Perkins Institute.
Fiona and I have been friends since we were 6 – we are two relatively opinionated individuals, but we have remained firm friends over the years and Fiona has been such a supportive friend not only to me, but also to my family over the course of the last year. Fiona floated the idea of a head shave many months ago and the idea has grown from there. The choice to give the funds raised to research was a no brainer really. Initially we thought we’d just donate the funds for breast cancer research, but after my sister was diagnosed with lymphoma in July, we thought it more apt to direct the funds to research into womens cancer generally. Fiona is an exceptionally brave woman and a very loyal friend and I encourage you all to jump on to the Facebook page ‘Goodbye Golden Locks‘ to read the stories that Fiona is sharing and to donate (here) to a wonderful cause.
Oh and if you’re in Perth, there’s going to be a big breakfast at which Fiona will shave her head! Stay tuned for details of the breakfast – we’ll release dates etc. in coming weeks.
Until next time, have a spectacular weekend. I hope the sun is shining wherever you are!