There are many aspects of life we are all well versed in. The sun will rise and set religiously. The Earth will revolve around the sun. The tides of the ocean will crash upon our shores, and, we will die.
But, there are thousands each year who die prematurely and would love nothing more than to evade the “Death” until well into their senior years. These individuals are victims of Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC), and they find themselves shadowed by this death sentence every day of their lives. For many, it’s like an ominous cloud that lingers precariously overhead. They can’t escape it or see it, but they know it’s there, lying in wait like a predator stalking its prey.
“I’m blessed to have the gift of life,” states Janis Cohen, President and Founder of Purple-Power Org, a non-profit that raises money specifically for Stage 4 research. “It’s not fun not knowing what tomorrow will bring. It certainly gives you more awareness of life’s simple pleasures. It’s like seeing and feeling for the very first time. The sky is bluer, holding hands and receiving/giving hugs means more. Those I know, who also have MBC, have no idea what the next moment will bring. Living with this disease certainly makes life, love and the world around us more precious.”
Janis was diagnosed with MBC in 2012, and like the 232,670 men and women diagnosed last year, she prays she’s not one of the expected 40,000 projected to die this year alone.
“It’s not want I want to be remembered for,” claims Cohen. “If I have to go, I want my death to mean something more, not be noted as just another statistic.”
A Stage 4 diagnosis affects each of its victims differently. Some lie in wait shut out from the world, suffocated and debilitated by the fear that eats away at them. Others constantly question their worthiness and the reasoning behind being slighted of good health. And the majority will embrace life’s blessings, fighting like a lioness protecting her cubs to make every day matter. They’ll participate in clinical trials that may not help. They’ll continually endure their prescribed treatments that wrack their bodies with torturous pain, fighting like hell to stay alive against all of the odds against them.
What they all share in common, however, is the fear that nettles deep within their very being, that ticking time bomb, which will assuredly go off. They can’t evade death. The cancer that lays in wait, settled in either their bones, their lungs, their liver, or brain, is determinedly growing and eventually will overcome them.
Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer kills. There is no cure. Treatment, at best, prolongs life but sadly, not for long. Life expectancy for only twenty-five percent of those diagnosed generally does not exceed five years. At some time during their treatment, these victims eventually ask the same question, “Is enough of the millions of dollars raised for breast cancer, going towards research to find a cure?” It’s a question, we all would ask, if we were in their shoes.
Unfortunately, of the millions upon millions raised for breast cancer, only a meager two percent is allocated for Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer Research. For decades, the effort has been concentrated on prevention, early detection and support. Thirty percent of the 232,670 people diagnosed last year will metastasize and die. That could be someone you love, someone you know and someone you work with. It’s a fact they’ll never be able to ignore.
Purple-Power.Org wants to end this death sentence. Their Vision and Mission are one and the same, and that is to eradicate Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer completely. “A daunting task,” we asked Janis Cohen?
“Perhaps,” she answered. “Adversity is only a deterrent, if you allow it to affect and disable you. Awareness is key. People need to know about Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, its steadfast progression, and both its paralyzing and traumatizing effects on those men and women who have been diagnosed with it.”
Those at Purple-Power, symbolize their cause by adding a streak of purple in their hair. For them, it signifies power, dignity and inspires high ideals. They ask the public to help them increase awareness by either temporarily/permanently streaking or wearing an extension in their hair. They call this Campaign #ColorMePurple and hope everyone will Hash Tag it on all of their social media platforms, so that Purple-Power can become the next on-going trend.
To learn more of Purple-Power’s efforts, you can visit their website at http://www.purple-power.org and feel free to send your #ColorMePurple photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and Purple-Power will proudly display them on their Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/PurplePowerOrg