I eat healthfully.
I don't have a family history.
I breastfeed my babies.
Sooooooo, I've told myself, I probably don't have to think too much about breast cancer.
Wendy was 33.
She was young.
She was healthy.
She didn't have breast cancer in her family.
She was breastfeeding her daughter when she found her lump.
So what exactly makes her so different from me?
I suppose we don't share the same genes or environment, but we seemingly have quite a few similarities, both being young, healthy, nursing mothers.
Her story was a wake-up call for me .
It was a push for me to act as if I don't have all of the things -- age, genetics, lifestyle -- on my side.
It was a nudge to stop thinking about breast cancer as something that effects other people -- people with the obvious risk factors.
It was exactly what I needed for me to take breast cancer personally.
I have breasts; therefore, I could develop breast cancer.
We don't know exactly why women like Wendy who have seemingly everything in their favor get breast cancer.
Research has revealed some risk factors but other reasons remain a mystery.
Army of Women is seeking to develop a pool of women who will consider being part of studies that are researching breast cancer. ALL women regardless of age, family history, lifestyle, are welcome to join.
If a study looks like it might be a good fit for a possibly participant, she then has the choice to sign up or decline.
It's low pressure. It's effective
And there's a huge need for more women to sign up with Army of Women so that more research can be done, so that more factors can be found.
I signed up. I thought it was the right thing to do -- to try and help all of those "other" women who have been diagnosed or who will be diagnoses or who have fought and conquered the battle or who have even lost it.
But today, I realized, you know what, I actually did it for me, too.
It's time to start accepting the reality that breast cancer is an unpredictable beast, and we need to be educated about its unpredictable nature as well as the risk factors.
It's time to start taking breast cancer personally.
Because I'm not different than Wendy. And, really, maybe you aren't either.
Will you become one of a million in an Army of Women and take education to the next level -- the personal one?
My Write Pink! Bigger Picture Moment is linked up with Sarah.
If you take the time to link up your education story with Sarah, your link automatically enters you into a giveaway for two bamboo pillowcases donated by Bamboo Luxary and Dr. Susan Love's The Breast Book donated by Army of Women.
If you sign up with Army of Women, you could have a shot at winning a custom bamboo viscose women's t-shirt from Lil Bloo Boo. Simply email you registration form to Melissa.