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.

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5 Comments

  1. I’m trying to make people aware of MBC and the fact that men are also affected by bc. I’m doing a fundraiser, in my area, too, but for me – it’s all about awareness and real help for those whose breast cancer can not be cured. I was even invited to speak at my city’s council meeting Oct 1st – which I did. Thanks for this article.

  2. For some organisations it is about Awareness, but the bigger they get the further they seem to be removed from the thing that they were set up to do.

  3. Pinktober for me is a chance to address these co’s with pink products and ask them 2 very important questions, 1. Who are the “portion of proceeds going to” and 2. How much of the “portion” is in percentage wise….in other words-exactly how much of my purchase is going towards a non profit org-I want to know these things as a consumer and if we start asking these co’s to speak up and be transparent then maybe they will back off and stop taking advantage of our disease and innocent people that want to help but are taken advantage of as well. I don’t mind the fundraising part of it-I just wish that legally, there was something we could do to take back our month from the pink washers! We want options! We need options! Options in where we want to go for treatments, options to be able to pick a targeted therapy plan that will work for us, options to choose to put our money where the research for stage IV funding is!

    • Part of my concern is that they are raising all this money and then it is being frittered away on salaries, marketing, renting posh addresses etc. People are giving money to find a cure and not pay six-figure salaries and the cost of fundraising. Finding a cure is finding a way to treat Metastases as well as preventing them in the first place.

      If someone wants to dress their existing product in Pink, charge the same amount and donate 10p a can of baked beans then fine, but while they are selling that product there shouldn’t be a limit to how much they donate – “we will donated 10p for every can sold up to a £10,000. What if they then make £12,000?

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