Fight the disease, not each other

Column by Allison Borthwick, Opinion Editor


There are very few things in this world that don’t discriminate.

Everyone and everything seems to have their own opinions, judgments and preferences on skin color, age, lifestyles, etc.

There is one thing, however, that absolutely does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if you’re black, white or both. It doesn’t matter if you’re two years old or 78. You could be a murderer on death row or a mother of four who would never hurt a fly – it’s all the same in the end.

Because, in the end, cancer loathes unconditionally.

“I have breast cancer,” my mom said, in 2010.

“Your aunt has breast cancer,” my grandma said, in 2012.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again – cancer is the purest form of evil.

It knows no bounds; it tears lives and families apart with reckless abandon.

Both my mom and aunt are survivors, and I couldn’t be more grateful. But cancer almost won. It wins most of the time, and that is unacceptable, horrible, terrifying.

The woman who gave me life nearly lost her own because the treatment was too much for her body, and soul, to handle. It hospitalized her for more than a week and I could see the helplessness in my father’s eyes every day when I got home from school to a place where he was and she wasn’t.

My aunt had a tumor on her breast that grew to be the size of a lemon. Her initial diagnosis came from a “doctor” who told her she had stage five breast cancer – a death sentence that doesn’t even exist. My mother, a two-year survivor at that point, brought her into our home and got her the real help she needed. She was properly diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and is alive and well today.

So, needless to say, Breast Cancer Awareness Month means a lot to me. And I don’t know how something so critical became so controversial – but it is the 21st century in America, after all.

What doesn’t kill us makes us cynical.

I don’t care if someone posts a status that tricks people into posting the same status if it raises awareness. I don’t care if a company turns all their merchandise and advertisements pink if it raises awareness. I don’t care if the message is “Save the Ta-Tas” if it raises awareness.

I agree, the goal should be to save the person, not just their boobs. Yes, making everything pink and girly can misrepresent a gruesome disease and its victims, both male and female. Some methods of raising awareness are probably better than others.

But at least people are trying; they’re doing SOMETHING, which is a whole lot better than nothing.

Cancer is as negative as it gets. Why would we make any effort to increase awareness, bring in funds for research and ultimately end breast cancer forever negative too?

How are we going to fight cancer when we’re busy fighting each other every step of the way?

Cancer is the enemy, not the color pink or the catchy awareness slogans.

Cancer is the purest form of evil, and I couldn’t care less how it gets defeated in the end.