I am so proud to be associated with the Boobie-thon, as a participant, a donor, and photo editor. What began as a lark has turned into something that inspires hope on many levels.
*For Immediate Release: Bloggers bare all for breast cancer research!*
October 1, 2005 –Boobies. Although they come in all shapes and sizes (large, small, saggy and perky), they have one thing in common: The ability to develop cancer.
Even though there is no cure yet, the fourth annual Blogger Boobie-Thon is doing its part to make cancer a thing of the past.
From October 1-8, bloggers from across the globe can submit pictures of bare and covered breasts to raise money for breast cancer causes.
Four years ago, Robyn – of (the now defunct) Tampa Tantrum and Shutterblog.com – began a little fundraiser to bring a friend down to Florida for Thanksgiving. A few photos of cleavage were posted as enticement for donations. I participated. In fact, I was the first Pay-Per-Boob. What the hell, it wasn’t like many people were going to see the photos, right? Little did anyone realize that the cost of the plane ticket for Robyn’s friend would be greatly exceeded. The excess funds were donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Cut to the following year – everyone wanted to know if there would be a repeat of the Boobiethon. There was, and even more money was raised. This time, however, there were no plane tickets involved. This was about breast cancer. This was serious business, but we all got to participate in a very fun, light-hearted way.
The third year, last year, was the biggest and best event thus far. Over $8,000 was raised in about two weeks. The Boobiethon had received some press at that point, giving much more exposure to breast cancer awareness.
The Fourth Annual Boobiethon is currently featured in an article for Wired News, and will no doubt, receive more coverage than ever before.
It may seem frivolous to some people, but we’ve raised more than $17,000 dollars for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in three years.
Fact: A woman living in the United States has a 12.5 percent, lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. However, a large portion of the overall risk is due to the risks at older ages.
Bloggers, both men and women, submit cleavage photos, and/or more revealing shots, including those from breast cancer survivors as a means of bringing in donations. Some people find this offensive, but we’re not trying to excite or stimulate people in any way, only to support breast cancer research.
Fact: Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have the disease, but about 90 percent of women who develop breast cancer do not have a family history of it.
Fact: Internet e-mail rumors and at least one book suggested that underwire bras obstruct lymph flow, but there is no scientific or clinic evidence for that claim. E-mail rumors also suggested that chemicals in antiperspirants could be absorbed through the skin, interfere with lymph circulation and cause toxins to accumulate in the breast that could lead to cancer. There is no evidence to support this rumor.
All of the bloggers participating do so for a variety of reasons. Some have lost friends or family to breast cancer. Some have faced personal battles. No matter the reason, we continue to gain support every year, and that support adds up to donations for research.
Fact: Breast cancer most often spreads, or metastasizes, to the lymph nodes, lungs, bones, liver and/or brain.
When I was quite young, my aunt (for whom I was named) died of breast cancer. Back in the early 70s, we didn’t have the technology available that we do today. My aunt’s battle was horrendous and memories of her fight against cancer still bring tears to my mother’s eyes. I’ve also lost several friends to the disease. Some have survived their initial battles, only to succumb after the thought they were in the clear. I have another friend who recently lost her second breast to cancer. She is so brave. She doesn’t care what it takes, she’s determined to beat it.
Fact: Breast cancer occurs primarily in women, but occassionally in men as well. Like all cells in the body, a man’s breast duct cells can undergo cancerous changes. Breast cancer in males is one of the rarest cancers a man can develop.
A San Diego anchorman, Bill Griffith, kept a journal on his experience with breast cancer.
Fact: For all ages combined, white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than African-American women, but African-American women under age 50 have higher incidence rates than white women.
While our methods may not necessarily be mainstream, it’s important to remember that we’re still contributing, still hoping to find a cure. You can, too.
The Boobie-thon runs until October 8, 2005.