I have heard from at least five people today on how fast fall is whipping through the Midwest and I couldn’t agree more (I actually exaggerated this morning that I needed to go get my turkey out of the oven as Thanksgiving is about five minutes away). Christmas music is now on that crazy Delilah radio station that I actually live for as I am obsessed with Christmas and fine, I MAY have listened to the Jessica Simpson Christmas album once or twice on my fall runs. Starbucks launched their holiday cups today. Wow, fall is flying by and I am not sure why or where it went. Sigh. For me, it may be because I was either on an airplane, attending 436 meetings, networking at TED, on 320 conference calls, planning wedding showers, planning a charity event, celebrating my one-year wedding anniversary, running, reading Danny Meyers’s Setting the Table or sleeping. Good excuses. But, excuses nonetheless. I did get to see amazing fall foliage in Galena, Illinois this past weekend so that’s a plus.
As I reflect on fall so far, there is one thing that stands out to me and one that I want to stop, pause and pray on: A time period that arguably is the most important in our country during the fall season that holds SOME place in everyone’s lives: Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The extraordinary work of so many organizations, companies and people with regard to Breast Cancer Awareness has, to me, been incrementally more alive, more visual and more social this year. Linebackers in pink. American Airlines website in pink. Women wearing pink. Buildings in Chicago lit in pink. Celebrities supporting the cause (in fact, Bethenny Frankel just posted something today). Pink cocktails. Today is November 1 so technically it’s over, but how can we have that same level of momentum all year-long? After meeting such incredible social entrepreneurs in the past month, I decided that once or twice a month I will dedicate one of my blogs to one of these people or one of their companies with the hopes that even ONE person could be impacted and/or convicted to do something.
And this month in an effort to continue the momentum and support the cause, I wanted to write about an amazing woman named Lindsay Avner, Founder and Executive Director of Bright Pink.
Okay, moving right along. Here’s the deal. About 6 months ago, my friend JR said to me, “Ann, I have a woman you have to meet. Her name is Lindsay and she runs a non-for-profit called Bright Pink to help prevent breast and ovarian cancer and you will love her…” That was the simplified version, there were many more superlatives and reasons behind why I should meet her, according to JR. Wow, I thought. She sounds amazing. Time went by, I didn’t meet Lindsay. And then, two weeks ago, Lindsay Avner magically appeared in my network for the TEDx Midwest conference. It was clear to me God was telling me I needed to meet her 🙂 So, I connected with her through Facebook and told her who I was and that JR Kerr thinks we would like each other. So random and sort of stalker-esque. But if you know JR, he’s usually spot on with this stuff so I trusted him. And low and behold, I see Lindsay in the midst of over 1,000 people at TED. I made sure to grab her (not literally…come on, people), introduce myself in person and I instantly could sense why JR spoke so highly of her. Her energy, her poise, her sweetness and the fact that she has dedicated her life to trying to help women all over the United States be proactive about understanding their risks of getting breast and ovarian cancer. Wow.
As quoted from Bright Pink’s website, “Bright Pink is a national non-profit organization that provides education and support to young women who are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. We arm young women with knowledge, options and a great attitude, and offer companionship and empathy during their journey. We empower them to take control of their breast and ovarian health and in turn, grant them the freedom and peace of mind to live a beautiful and fulfilling life.” There is an amazing video that explains this even further…I strongly encourage you to check it out.
So, a huge round of applause to Lindsay Avner and her incredible team at Bright Pink. They offer loads of education, support (PinkPals – I know I would need many of these if I was going through something as tough as cancer) and a huge community of people and sponsors to help the cause. Everything from networking events, becoming a sponsor, speaking with a genetic counselor, online forums, outreach groups and so much more, Bright Pink has truly done an amazing job being an innovative non-for-profit organization.
And the ask of you (ladies) today is: Do some homework about your boobs, give them love, for a brighter future. Get involved. Educate yourself. Donate your time. Be Brilliant, Be Bold, Be Bright Pink.
[photo credit: http://www.brightpink.org]