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    Gertrude is the name we decided to call my cancerous breast hence the title of this blog. Although I had to keep my breast through chemo and radiation due to the nature of IBC - once it 'blew up' it no longer looked like my breast and I couldn't wait to get rid of it. Calling it Gertrude was a way of seperating it from myself. This main page is where I write about the general goings on that relate to Gertrude, there is another page that are more a diary of treatments etc This blog is a public blog so although I am being very honest about my battle with Gertrude I have "changed names to protect the innocent" - because everyone can see it if you write comments on the blog pages please use the same abbreviations for other family member or friends that I do. Please feel free to ask questions if you want clarification because then other people who might have been wondering the same thing can read your question and our answers.
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Real Breast Cancer Awareness Part I

I have been so busy getting my last university assignments out of the way that I haven’t had a chance to blog as much as I would like so far this month.  I’ve got a lot to say so have decided to break it up into smaller topics

Part I – What is real breast cancer action and awareness?  How can you help?

In America there has been a bit of a backlash amongst my breast cancer friends about “pinkwashing” and also the idea that just by putting a pink ribbon on it whether you be a person or product you are doing enough for breast cancer awareness and supporting people with breast cancer,   and then of course there are the things that are pinked that are just wrong or misguided bad taste.

It’s interesting that here in New Zealand the breast cancer charities seem to have heard that there is a bit of pink fatigue and actively dialled down their pinking this month.  But in doing so they are not necessarily doing me a service.  All the Breast Cancer Action Month’s events seem to have mainly been at the beginning of the month and not a lot is getting media attention.  It makes me sad that something like the WIMA ride didn’t get much publicity, although they raised a substantial amount of money for the NZBCF.  Like wise the Timtam promotion where instead of getting you to buy biscuits they are actively saying donate and we will match it – the money is going towards Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition

From the states we get good campaigns such as Puma’s Project Pink which is rewarding with $1 per tweet towards Breast Cancer charity that is voted on by the people taking part.  This is giving power to the people as to which breast cancer charity they will support and letting people do something to raise money that doesnt necessarily mean buying the product.

While both Puma and Timtams (Arnotts) are getting some advertising media mileage out of the campaigns they are not directly profitting from what people are doing to make a donation (although Puma assumedly will make a profit out of selling Project Pink branded gear) and to me this is the key to getting people to donate wisely.  Although it is an American site “Think before you pink”  has some thought provoking questions about how to intelligently back the cause

I’m not saying don’t buy your pink ribbons or donate on Pink Ribbon day but donate more directly or where a significant amount is going to the cause.

Its finding that balance between enough awareness and getting people to donate to what is still a good cause. or using the pink  ribbon arbitrarily to boost sales and giving a tiny or undisclosed sum to Breast Cancer charities

If you want to donate  in New Zealand consider making a direct donation to one of these charities Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition, Sweet Louise, or New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation

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