Is October really about Awareness … or fundraising?
Even in the UK we get emails etc in October about things that various Breast Cancer and general Cancer charities are doing about fundraising … hold on, back pedal, isn’t October supposed to be about Breast Cancer AWARENESS? The name of the month would imply this, but it all seems to be about MONEY and very little about real awareness.
Last year at work the men did Movember and grew moustaches to raise funds for Prostate Breast Cancer. There was a prize for the best ‘tash and so on. Awareness – nothing. When March came round, which is PBC awareness month in the UK there was silence from those who had organised the moustache growing competition. Why? Is all of this about the moustache or the money? Is the Pink Ribbon about awareness of the money?
When I was first diagnosed with MBC I thought I would do an awareness event and fundraise, but there were two ladies who did this every year and I didn’t want to butt in on their action. What amazed me was that they did various things to raise money but there seemed to be next to no awareness education going on.
Last year I started an Always Healthy campaign about general health issues that would effect the students at the college and the staff. I actually said a bit about awareness and also that men get BC and there is a link that men with female relatives who have had BC are at greater risk of Prostate Cancer and everyone seemed a bit astonished. The staff went for the freebies that were being given away but didn’t want to know about the information. I think the students took more interest with various aspects when we had the Teenage Cancer Trust visit with some falsies for them to feel to try detecting breast and testicular cancer. Even though they were fooling around I think that some of them really took it all in, though whether they have done regular checks, who knows.
Awareness months have almost nothing to do with awareness, and everything to do with filling the charity coffers using their branded image and products. Why not just call it a fundraising bonanza because that is what it has become.