“Pinktober” has come and gone, and once again Hollywood’s hottest have been prominent in their objective to put the word out about breast cancer.
We’ve had actor and model Rebecca Romijn introducing the “hand bra” in a humorous video made to promote breast cancer awareness month. We’ve seen reality star and breast cancer patient Giuliana Rancic making a guest appearance at the launch of a website dedicated to “stylish living through breast cancer,” and singer Beyoncé promoting a pink nail polish, in which a percentage of the cost will be donated to breast cancer awareness. And we’ve had pap-magnet actor Katie Holmes appearing on a special episode of “Good Morning America," with breast cancer patients receiving makeovers.
When it comes to causes, we all get to choose anything that shouts out to us. Nobody should say that these celebs shouldn’t have picked pink. But why is it that these women — all of them mothers — have apparently overlooked one thing: if there is a single heartbreak worse than having cancer yourself, it is surely having your child diagnosed with a pediatric cancer.
Think about this Beyoncé et al: Imagine that your child was my child, diagnosed at aged 7 with a pediatric brain tumor, tumor-free after surgery and a toxic highball of chemo and radiation, recurred at age 10, which preceded constant treatment-induced fatigue and increasing pain and discomfort as the disease blossomed throughout the brain and spine, ending in her demise at the age of 12. There are no lifestyle changes that might have reduced her chance of getting a childhood cancer, no mammograms or self-exams that would have detected the disease early, no innovative targeted therapies that have proven successful in clinical trials (there’s not enough money to fund them) — and most devastating of all, no curative options when the tumor came back with a vengeance.
Wouldn’t it be great if one of you hot Hollywood mamas lent your razzle-dazzle to a cancer that strikes kids? You could visit families at a hospital where kids with cancer get treatment (they’d love to see you), talk to pediatric oncologists about promising research that might lead to a cure for those childhood cancers with survival rates that have stalled for decades (that includes several types of brain tumors, osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and rhabdomyosaracoma).
And then you could share your story with “Good Morning America.” You might save lives. Children’s lives. Children just like your own. Think about it, ladies. Please.
Suzanne Leigh is a freelance health reporter, a Huffington Post blogger and the mother of two gorgeous girls. She blogs about her family at: www.themourningafternatasha.wordpress.com