Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Breast Cancer and Battle of the Blades

It's October! Which means along with (Canadian) Thanksgiving and Halloween, it is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

It has been 18 months since I opted for my preventative double mastectomy. There have been some unforeseen complications but I am so happy to be here healthy and cancer-free. I got to make a choice. A choice that was afforded to me as a direct result of the cutting edge research made possible by the fundraising efforts of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Last year I spoke at the Collingwood CIBC Run for the Cure where I worked closely with Jen and then by proxy met Scott Thorton. Scott is a former NHL player and is currently competing on CBC's Battle of the Blades to raise money for CBCF in honour of his Mother-In-Law. Scott and Jen asked if I would share my "Previvor" story at the Under Ground Series Crossfit event on Saturday to benefit Breast Cancer. And if I would also be willing share my story with the producers of Battle of the Blades. 

So I spent early Saturday morning shooting with the crew (who were AMAZING ps) and speaking at the UG event. It was a great experience. And I was honoured to be a part of it.

The reality of cancer is a dark one. It is not all pink and festive like the ads would have us believe. It is scars. It is a body ravaged by drugs and long harsh treatment schedule. It is a time of fear, darkness, and uncertainty for those who are asked to face it and for their families. Last year was difficult, but speaking out and sharing my experience has been incredibly cathartic. Giving back in this way has turned a negative experience into a positive one.

Breast Cancer is a strong, dangerous, and ugly disease. It can beaten, but still does not have a cure. Breast Cancer has become a very prominent fixture in my world: from my mother's diagnosis, the revelation of our family's genetic link, and my own journey to treat this disease preventatively - but I am not alone. 
23 400 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, 5100 of them will be taken too soon from their families. Of the 1 in 9 women who will develop breast cancer 1 in 29 will die from it. One of my greatest hopes is that one day I can say that we have found a cure for this disease, and cure that is less evasive and less traumatic for the many women who are forced to take part in this war against their own bodies. 

I know I am incredibly lucky to have the knowledge and the options that I have had. And while I may be standing before you nipple-less, boob-less, and without a defining part of my femininity. I also stand in front of you healthy and cancer-free. I got to make a choice. A choice I am so thankful for. A choice that was given to me by years of research and medical innovation. And a choice that would not be possible without the work of Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. So let's help make them some serious money! Vote for Scott and Amanda this Season (<---- Click the Link)The longer they stay on the show the more money we can raise for CBCF! So please visit the CBC website and cast your votes!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail

Ps if you are wondering when my episode will air I think it is slated for Episode 7 if Scott and Amanda continue on. I will keep you posted.