Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Is There Breast Cancer Age Discrimination?
Recently, I came across an organization that is doing some great work with regard to supporting patients and warriors, disseminating valuable information and even has a celeb tied to the organization as their spokesperson. 'On a mission to reach millions of women between the ages of 18-45...' Well darn-it-all, I'm 50-freaking-3! But wait, I WAS 31 and then 36 for my first two breast cancer diagnosis, does that count?
Immediately, I must confess that I felt discriminated against and slightly disturbed by their age cut-off. I mean, even most job applications don't discriminate against gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity and the like. Why this? Why now? Why with breast cancer?
So, I did what any advocating, 3-time, breast cancer warrior should do....I wrote them, inquiring about this head-scratching cancer paradox. Furthermore, I saw that they were teaming up with the Kentucky Derby's Survivor's Parade this year to which one of my fave breasties, Jill Brzezinski-Conley is a nominee to walk in (please vote for her - she deserves it!), so I thought I would investigate the age issue a tad further. Now Jill falls well within their specified age range, but I did happen to notice that a few of the other nominees clearly fall out of the top of their age bracket of 45 which got me to thinking... will this organization not speak to or support these women as they partake in the parade? Will they be shunned because they happened to have been diagnosed past the ripe age of 45? Will they not receive the recognition that they so deserve? Will they not be given their parade gear because - ugh, cancer picked on them way too late in life? And even more importantly, what about my breasties that are beyond the 45 year age range that are terminal and in the fight of their life - will they not receive the respect that they've earned and should have?
Hmmmm.... maybe it's just me, but does any of this make sense to you?
So, now I'll see if this popular organization that I actually wrote 6 months ago inquiring about their wish-granting program, will AGAIN, ignore my inquiry and kick this 53-year old cancer warrior to the curb? Will I not receive, at the very least, a respectable response? I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, let me switch gears and flip this annoyance around and refer you to some awesome, non-age-discrimination organizations and peeps who I know you will find supportive:
Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer
Talk About Health
Breast Cancer Social Media
Lastly, feel free to add an organization, group or any peeps that support ALL breast cancer survivors in the comments section. It's important for us to help each other during the experience of breast cancer and to band together, no matter what.