Sometimes it’s the little things…
“So, I’ve got breast cancer.”
When you get the call, it is like a punch to the gut. All the air rushes out of your lungs and you struggle to find a response. Any response.
Do you try (knowing in advance that it is going to fail miserably) to be funny?
Do you try to be reassuring and dismiss the disease (ridiculous)?
Do you try to be strong and brave for them (even more ridiculous)?
My response was “let’s get a drink”. I hung up the phone and sobbed.
When my beautiful and lovely cousin Grace called me to say that she had Stage 4 breast cancer, of all the emotions that coursed simultaneously through my heart, the one that I found to be the worst was helplessness. It is crippling not being able to help somebody you love so deeply.
Which is where MJ Decoteau and the incredible people of Rethink Breast Cancer came in to shine a light in an otherwise very dark place. I was desperate to be able to do something. Anything.
Sometimes it is the little things that can make a difference.
Sometimes it is the little things that can make a difference. One of the first things that Rethink Breast Cancer gave me was a list of products that Grace was going to need as her body reacted to the brutal onslaught of chemo and radiation. The awkwardness of the salesperson at the drug store was a walk in the park compared to me explaining to my cousin (who was like my sister) about the products that were going to help her through her (among many things) pending vaginal dryness.
Grace took the basket of products and literature from Rethink, smiled at me and said, “Let’s get a drink.” Herbal tea for her, bourbon for me.
Grace was passionate about many things, nothing more than film. Starting as a popcorn/candy girl at the Odeon theatre, Grace worked her way up and become one of the most respected and experienced film executives in the industry. She came by it honestly, both her parents were film executives. When Rethink Breast Cancer started BreastFest, Grace and her dad Tony jumped on board to help get it off the ground.
Tragically, the disease took our beautiful Grace. A light in our world went out.
Today, the Amazing Grace Award is given to the best film of the BreastFest Film Festival in her honour. One of her mentors, Peter Sussman of Aver Media (now BMO/Aver) started an Oscar Pool where they donate money in Grace’s name to Rethink for every person who participates. A selfless act where Grace’s spirit and legacy is celebrated in a world she loved. (Grace had an uncanny ability to pick the Oscar winners and won the pool the first year!)
This is what Rethink Breast Cancer does.
…they can cure you of feeling helpless.
It finds innovative and unique ways to help women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
It empowers and educates family and friends so that we don’t feel so damn useless.
It is creative in the way they raise money to find a cure.
They inspire everyone with their passion, creativity and zeal to make the world of women who have breast cancer a little bit better every day.
Call them. Talk to them. Find out what special thing you can do to help.
Until the cure for breast cancer is found, they can cure you of feeling helpless.
Rethink Breast Cancer welcomes people who have been touched by the disease to get involved and create their own unique fundraiser HERE.