For the last three years, Speedgoat Bicycles has raffled off a custom pink bike to benefit the Breast Cancer Fund, donating $49,400 to breast cancer prevention. This year's lucky winner was Tom of Spokane, Wash.--congrats, Tom!
The cash is great, but Speedgoat is also reaching people who might never have otherwise heard of BCF, and our message resonates. Another entrant, Beth, didn't win, but sent Speedgoat her own story about breast cancer that really hit home with me:
"I just wanted to say thank you for this wonderful raffle that is benefiting the Breast Cancer Fund. Many organizations focus on the healing element of breast cancer, a very critical part of the disease; however, it is most encouraging for an organization to recognize the importance of prevention. I am excited about this raffle, two-fold. Not only will the money raised from this raffle go to the breast cancer fund to help fight environmental factors, it is also shown that exercise and activity is a major player in breast cancer prevention.
"I want to share my family story with you, another story in so many lives have been affected by breast cancer. In 2005, my mother passed away after a year of fighting breast cancer at the age of 60. Her older sister had passed away from breast cancer in 1989 at the age of 48. Her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, two months after my mother passed away. Thankfully, today she is in remission.
"What is interesting about this situation is that the younger sister had her genes tested to see if they had the marker for breast cancer, and they did not. How could all three sisters have breast cancer and no genetic marker for the disease? There are many reasons for this, one being that we do not know everything about the disease and there could be additional markers that scientists are unaware of.
"Another reason is that, growing up, they lived near a DuPont paint manufacturing plant and could remember days on end where all you could smell was paint fumes. It angers me to know that there is the possibility that environmental factors caused the cancer, and these factors could have been prevented. However, it gives me hope to know that Americans are starting to realize the impact of the chemicals we put into our atmosphere and our ground, and that we do not yet know the full effects that these chemicals have in the long-run. It gives me even more hope for women because there is an organization that recognizes that we cannot fully eradicate breast cancer without changing the way that we live our lives and how we treat the Earth.
"For that I say thank you, so that other women and families do not have to endure the tragedy of breast cancer."
I couldn't have said it better, Beth. Thank you for reminding us all of what's at stake--and what needs to change.