Those two little words strike fear into the hearts of so many women. Almost every person I know has been touched by breast cancer in some way--a relative, a friend, or an acquaintance has battled the disease. Some of them won their battles, while others were not as fortunate. I have seen breast cancer up close and personal. My grandmother, affectionately called Nanny by all of her grandchildren, fought a long, hard six-year battle with this disease. She endured multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, a double mastectomy, and 3 recurrences before this horrible disease finally stole her from us.
My Nanny is not the only member of my family to have waged war with breast cancer. I also have two aunts who were diagnosed within a month of each other several years ago. Both of them are currently cancer-free, but I know they must feel the heavy weight of knowing that the cancer may come back. My cousin, who is a year younger than I am, was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer when she was only 29 years old. She was pregnant when she first felt the lump, and concern for her unborn baby had her seeking medical care immediately instead of going with her usual wait-and-see approach. She was diagnosed at 28 weeks along in her pregnancy with a little boy who had to be delivered early so his mama could receive life-saving treatment. She is in remission, and that premature little boy is now a lively kindergartner who doesn't yet realize that he saved his mama's life.
These are just the members of my family who I have watched fight against breast cancer. There have also been several friends and acquaintances who have been affected, not to mention the families of each of these people--families who had to watch as their loved ones battled through pain and fear to beat a disease that so desperately needs a cure.
In the ongoing quest for a cure, Bank of America has partnered with the Susan G. Komen™. In addition to their Pink Ribbon Banking Products, Bank of America has also created the Everyday Portrait experience as a way to honor those who have been courageous and fearless in their fight against breast cancer. I really love this innovative idea and the thought to put public faces to all the heroic people who fight this disease. Bank of America has made it so simple to create your own tribute with the Everyday Portrait experience. Simply upload a picture and write a tribute about the person you are honoring. The Everyday Portrait experience will turn it into an illustration made from your words. You can even download your portrait to share with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. I created one for my Nanny.
I browsed through the tributes that have already been submitted with tears in my eyes. So many women--moms, sisters, aunts, daughters, granddaughters, grandmothers, cousins, friends...so, so many. I hope you will take a moment to honor these women by reading through their tributes. And if you have someone to honor, I encourage you to write your own tribute for her too. For every portrait made during the month of October, Bank of America will make a $5 contribution to Susan G. Komen™.