Breast cancer is not something we generally worry about if we are women under the age of 35. And yet it exists, in somewhat alarming numbers. The issues faced by such women can be different than those faced by women who are older and suffering from the same disease. That’s why organizations like Young Survival Coalition are essential to the raising the morale of women battling breast cancer. YSC was started 13 years ago by three women who were all diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 35. They saw the need for better information, research and resources for young women facing this disease and they decided to do something about it. Some of the goals of Young Survival Coalition include advocating for more studies about young women and breast cancer, educating young women about the importance of breast self-awareness and knowledge and serving as a community of support for young women with breast cancer.
While my decision to choose YSC as the beneficiary of my book launch party was connected in part to October being breast cancer awareness month, there were also personal reasons behind this decision. My aunt is currently battling breast cancer for the second time after suffering a very painful family tragedy. While she is not under 35, she still faces the difficulties that all women battling breast cancer do: fatigue, sickness, emotional and physical pain and profound changes in her body and appearance. My aunt is an extremely beautiful woman, inside and out. She has the warmest, most loving spirit. She constantly sings. When I was a child, she would clasp both hands around my cheeks, look deep in my eyes and ask me how I was doing while showering me with kisses. Come to think of it, she still does that. She has beautiful blonde hair, round, blue eyes and a gorgeous face. She has always paid attention to how she looks and carries herself – but that is normal for most French women. I adore her. So it’s difficult to know that she suffers because I love her, and because I don’t think she should ever have to suffer, particularly from something that debilitates her and dampens her spirit so. But I also know that she is not the only one to suffer in this way. And so if I can do something to help all women who are going through what she is going through, then I will feel better. Because while being diagnosed with breast cancer might be out of our control, offering resources, love and support to the women who are battling it is not.
For more information on Young Survival Coalition please go to: www.youngsurviaval.org
To purchase tickets for Claire’s Book Party Fundraiser: www.movementstudiola.com and click on the new member special, then go to events.