Memorial Day is not just the start of summer. It is a day set aside to honor those who have fought valiant battles and gave the ultimate sacrifice, their lives. Everyone has someone in their family who is a veteran, some even have lost them in wars over the years. Some have family serving right now in the armed forces.
At this time, we honor all who have served. And we will always remember those who have been lost.
On another front line, there is a tender army fighting every day for their lives. They fight while they keep their jobs, take care of their kids, keep the family together and try to live the best they can. They have wounds from the battle, not from bullets, but from surgeons and chemicals. They keep going, they look forward and try not to look back.
Some, however, are challenged with new attacks from a returning enemy. They are suddenly classified as being at the end of their fight when, in fact, they have only just started it. No one can imagine what it is like to fight every day and live from scan to scan. But they do so, bravely and valiantly.
There have been casualties in this war. In fact, we lose over 40,000 a year. An entire generation of beautiful, vital, living, breathing, moms, daughters, sisters, lovers and friends are gone. This Memorial Day, we honor those lost on the front lines of breast cancer. May someone, someday, see the figure of 40,000 deaths a year, and make a sea change in the funding for research in the cure for this disease.
There are other, horrible diseases. They need funding too. But there is an inequity and it must be addressed. AIDS in America, gets four times the funding that breast cancer does, and the annual death toll is under 11,000 a year for the patients who are afflicted with that disease. We are not suggesting giving less to HIV/AIDS in America, but level the playing field so women with breast cancer can also have the types of drug combinations that keep AIDS patients alive and thriving for 25 plus years.
When 40,000 women are taken from America every year, we ask how vital it is to spend $500,000,000 just for the take off of the Space Shuttle that serves as a giant service station in space. Is it possible to reduce the number of flights to change the spark plugs on the International Space Station and take that money and give it to an NIH lab currently working on better detection, more effective treatments, and gene identification for targeted eradication of this disease?
There are many ways money can be redirected. We don’t have the answer. But we have just one request: We ask that next Memorial Day, may this list be shorter.
Our Warrior Angels from 2008-May 2009
This list compiled from the In Memoriam List from No Surrender Breast Cancer Foundation and the Angel List from breastcancer. org.