Last updated: October 2020
Every year, more than 600,000 people around the world are killed by stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC)1. That's an astonishing number of people all over the world. Here in the US, we see around 42,000 people die every year,2 a number that has not gone down but up since breast cancer became more prevalent in the news and the subject of many races and marketing campaigns. Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) in October is also well known and the pink soaked advertisements clog up my feeds on social media well before October 1st.
For those of us in the MBC community, it's easy to feel left out. It's easy to feel marginalized and sidelined.
I feel that. Maybe you do too.
Knowing that we have one day in the entire month can feel demoralizing; at the same time, I've seen an increase over the last few years of events and initiatives around the one day we get: October 13th. This year, I'm having to say no to too many wonderful events because there are so many. In my view, that's a gigantic improvement!
Metstatic breast cancer awareness day activity
One event that I did say yes to and am really excited to take part in, is the #LightUpMBC campaign that is a partnership between Metavivor and Moore Fight Moore Strong, an organization founded in memory of Jessica Moore. Here's some additional information about Jessica:
"THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE CAMPAIGN - Jessica Moore was a nurse at a skilled care unit. She embodied the word "care", dedicated her life as a healthcare worker to helping others, and was even recognized with the “Caregiver of the Year” award by the organization that she worked for. At the age of 32, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and passed away from the disease less than 4 years later. During her treatment, her family formed the Moore Fight Moore Strong (MFMS) organization to shine a light on the need for MBC awareness & research. In October 2017, the first bridge to light in MBC colors was the Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth, NH near her hometown. #LightUpMBC is the result of years of hard work from MFMS to light up the world to bring awareness and funding to critical MBC research. To learn more about how it all started, please visit this site."
On October 13th, I will be at the American Airlines Arena here in Miami with a group of allies and friends. The Arena and several other landmarks in Miami, including the Adrienne Arsht Center and the main Baptist Hospital will be lighting up in pink, green, and teal in honor of Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. We will be going live on October 13th at 8 p.m. EST on @METAvivor Facebook Live. The two-hour event will feature MBC stories and musical performances, as well as special auctions, to raise funds for metastatic breast cancer research.
Metastatic breast cancer ribbon
From the Metavivor website about the colors:"WHY GREEN, TEAL, AND PINK? The pink ribbon is well-known for representing the fight against breast cancer, but most of us MBC patients feel that pink does not encapsulate our experience. Metastatic Breast Cancer may start in the breast, but its spread to vital organs makes the disease fatal. To highlight the uniqueness of the disease and show its commonality with other stage IV cancers, METAvivor designed a base ribbon of green and teal to represent metastasis. Green represents the triumph of spring over winter, life over death, and symbolizes renewal, hope, and immortality while teal symbolizes healing and spirituality. The thin pink ribbon overlay signifies metastatic cancer that originated in the breast."
Lighting up for metastatic breast cancer
For a list of participating landmarks all over the world that are lighting up, here. While only a select number of cities and ambassadors are going "live," the event does not end on October 13th. Taking a picture of a landmark and posting it on your social media with the hashtag: #LightUpMBC will continue this initiative.
If you are interested in learning more about the event, click here.
With your help and the help of so many other allies in our communities, we can change the narrative from the pink wearing celebrations to hearing stories of incredible men and women facing death every day. We face death every day and yet we keep on living, we keep on doing life with our families and loved ones and we do deserve more!
Advanced breast cancer is an isolating and lonely disease.