Hudson Valley Parent

HVP October 2016

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6 Hudson Valley Parent n October 2016 Publisher TERRIE GOLDSTEIN Editor FELICIA HODGES Executive Assistant to the Publisher BRITTANY L. MORGAN Media Advisors CHRISTY OLIVIER Community Liaison PAMELA PERRY Traf f ic Manager PAM SOSCIA Intern MADISON BECKMAN Layout & Design ENGLE PRINTING also publishers of MY family MY family Hudson Valley Parent is published monthly by: The Professional Image Marketing & Public Relations Inc. 174 South Street • Newburgh, NY 12550 Phone: 845-562-3606 • Fax: 845-562-3681 This publication is copyrighted by the publisher. Reproduction without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Hudson Valley Parent welcomes submissions, although we cannot accept responsibility for work submitted nor guarantee publication. H ere in the U.S., it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hard to miss the parade of pink products in recogni- tion of that if you tried. I was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer when I was just 37 years old. I've lost my mother, an aunt and too many friends to actually count on all my fingers and toes to this disease, so I'd say I'm pretty aware of breast cancer - as are all the others affect- ed and effected by it. I'm also aware that almost 231,000 American women and just over 2,100 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 - the last year for which the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has statistics. In that year, almost 41,000 wom- en and (almost 500 men) died from it. That's a lot of families of moth- ers, sisters, wives, fathers, brothers, husbands, co-workers and neighbors that are probably also pretty aware. Perhaps that is why my take on the pink ribbon is a bit...askew. Each year about this time, I resolve myself to the idea that the products on my grocery store shelves will be bathed in pink ribbons (which is the actual copyrighted symbol of the awareness aspect of the disease). But eventually the month ends and the pink-themed vacuum clean- ers, soup cans, cookie cutters and water bottles disappear. The idea, it seems, is that people should only be aware of breast cancer for 31 days and not a second longer. The reality is this: There is abso- lutely no cure for breast cancer. Some people have treatment and find them- selves right back in the breast cancer battle again not long after. No one knows why some breast cancers are "one and done" and others advance, even after treatment. Only re- search can help determine that, but that research needs funding. If you're inclined to help the cause, donate to organizations like local Miles of Hope (read more about them and their amazing co-founder, Cathy Varunok, on page 6) and other agen- cies helping those in treatment or that actually fund research for cures. And when you do toss a pink product into your shopping cart, take a moment to read the label and find out where the money is going (to treatment? awareness? research?), how much of it is being donated (is it a paltry penny for each $4 you spend or is it capped at $10,000?) or even if it's being donat- ed at all (you'd be surprised at how many pink ribbon products mention nothing about where all the money collected from each purchase goes). If we don't, my fear is that the pink parade will only get worse while we are still wading through the pink stuff and hoping for a cure. Breast cancer receives a great deal of funding - and I'm most grateful for that - but none of that means much if those funds don't actually assist those with it or help make this disease go the way of the dinosaur and cure this monster already. Please think before you pink. Surrender the pink FELICIA HODGES Editor's Journal

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