Bow Ties for Metastatic Breast Cancer
People, like my friend, who have metastatic breast cancer are cancer survivors. They’ve already been diagnosed with breast cancer, beat it into remission through treatment, and now have to deal with it again as it comes back with a vengeance. At this state the cancer spreads to other parts of the body. In fact, Mandi tells me that 6 – 10% of people are diagnosed “de novo” — meaning that their first diagnosis of the cancer was stage IV, which is what metastatic cancer is. In some cases, like my friend’s, that occurs in their 30s, which is far too young.
Since there’s no cure for metastatic breast cancer, those who have it play Whack-o-Mole with a variety of treatments. They use them until they’re no longer effective. These treatments are usually aggressive and can take a significant toll on one’s quality of life. This process typically only lasts several years until the game of Whack-o-Mole is over. When you hear that someone (men, too) died from breast cancer, they likely died from this condition.
Sounds pretty dire, right? So, what are we doing about it? Unfortunately, according METAvivor, a non-profit that advocates for research, awareness, and support, “only an estimated 2% of the funds raised for breast cancer research is spent on studies of metastasis.”
So, in addition to blogging about this on a bow tie blog, I want to help out. With the help of Christine, my friend at DragonFly Bow Ties, we worked together to create the Cancer Awareness Bow Tie-Cancer Ribbons-Cancer Fund Raiser Bow Tie. Christine has graciously agreed to donate all profits from this tie to METAvivor since it’s an organization that Mandi likes.
— METAvivor (@metavivor) May 4, 2016
So, why not just pink ribbons?
Yes, the color pink and pink ribbons are associated with breast cancer research and support. The campaigns around these symbols have brought a lot of attention to the cause, but they’re controversial in the metastatic breast cancer community. In her post The Other Side of Pink, Mandi explains that a lot of people in her community are upset that many people and organizations go all out when it comes to pink but do little else to help people suffering from breast cancer. Thus, it upsets a lot of people. Mandi has a more nuanced view. She’s not super excited about pink campaigns, but she acknowledges that they do raise awareness and funds. Although they do not raise staggering amounts of money, the pink ribbons have become widely associated with the illness. That’s something, but so much more is needed. Other forms of fundraising are vital for charities to help people who are suffering. The sale of pink wristbands (from places like Sleek Wristbands) have also started to become popular for breast cancer research. All small pieces of merchandise are more likely to be worn and noticed by other people, bringing in more awareness and potentially funds.
Related: Other Bow Tie Charity Work
This came up when Christine and I worked with METAvivor. We decided to go with ribbons with multiple colors for this reason. I’m a proponent of using bow ties as conversation pieces. Since colored ribbons are used to signify many things, someone wearing one of these bow ties will likely prompt people to ask about the pattern. That presents a perfect opportunity for the wearer to talk about metastatic breast cancer and pink. This can help raise awareness and inspire people to do more than just don pink to show support for those who have breast cancer.
Since Mandi invited me to a fun blogger event during which bloggers of all types enjoyed a fun evening of learning about cancer and how to cook, I wanted to do more than just blog about the event. Hence, I’m grateful to Christine and METAvivor who worked with me to use bow ties to help my friend.