Hurricane Sandy, cancer and hope for recovery

REUTERS Kirsten Fulton reacts as she shares a moment with Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, during … Continued


Kirsten Fulton reacts as she shares a moment with Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, during the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5k” breast cancer survivors walk in Orlando on Oct. 20, 2012.

As our hearts and prayers go out to those who have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy, we must also never forget the millions of women who are battling another storm of massive destructive power.

On Monday night, Hurricane Sandy tore up the East Coast, with torrential rain and barreling winds that persisted into Tuesday night. In its path, the super-storm took the lives of over 50 people, caused massive floods and left millions without power. As Hurricane Sandy’s hard-hit victims begin to pick up the pieces, returning to “daily life” after such devastation must seem daunting. But, there is hope for a real recovery.

The hurricane didn’t just take a physical toll – it took an emotional and stressful toll as well. While there is never a convenient time for such destruction, the timing of this storm was especially bad. From kids and families excited to celebrate Halloween, to those hard at work on the presidential campaign, there is no denying that Hurricane Sandy came at a culturally and politically sensitive time.

Yet, in the midst of all the hype, I couldn’t help but notice a very important topic slipping under the radar, one that’s worthy of our attention. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time when the country places special attention on a disease that has killed millions and continues to take lives on a daily basis. It is a silent killer. This year alone, it is estimated that there will be “39,510 breast cancer deaths.”

Many women are battling for their lives now. Some have won, including Ann Romney, who recently wrote about her experience overcoming breast cancer:

Romney has not only proven to be a strong and courageous woman, but also a leader. It is people like Ann who help remind us to put things into perspective, even during this sensitive time for our country, a time of hurricanes, holidays and politics. So on this last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I ask that your prayers remain with the victims of Hurricane Sandy but also those who have lost loved ones to breast cancer and those who are battling it now. When obstacles seem too daunting and hard to overcome, have faith that there is always hope for recovery.

Anna Sekulow is director of digital policy for the American Center for Law and Justice.

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  • di89

    Breast cancer slipping under the radar my foot….it’s been nothing but wall to wall pink awareness all month. I can’t believe someone sounds like they are resenting the fact that the biggest storm to hit the East Coast in a hundred years is stealing the spotlight from their disease for a couple of days. This just came off all wrong.

  • haveaheart

    di89 is right.

    Throughout October, we’ ve been watching the “wearing o’ the pink” in every sports broadcast on television. On three separate days every week, we see massive walls of football players in their pink shoes, pink socks, pink scarves, pink headgear, etc. We’ve been watching golfers wearing pink shirts and hats. Baseball players sported their pink accessories throughout the playoffs and the world series. Too bad the basketball season started too late to carry the message.

    Then, there are the celebrities, the advertisements, the walkathons, runathons, jogathons, and marathons, all shilling for the cause.

    The fact that all this Pepto-Bismol messaging got interrupted for a few days because of the catastrophic devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy means that the Pinks are losing money to the Red Cross and other disaster-relief operations. And they don’t like to see their money going to other causes.

    That October money is OURS, they say.

    Well, believe it or not, there are tragedies in our world other than breast cancer. There’s starvation, homelessness, rape, assault, murder, and torture. And there are natural disasters that leave millions without homes, food, potable water, heat, transportation, work, and a livelihood.

    The Pinks needs to step back and take a look at their relative importance in the overall scheme of things. Yes, folks, you’re important. But not more so than anyone else suffering from personal tragedy.

    Get some perspective and be willing to share the resources.