October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer can potentially strike any of us including some of our favorite and most respected rock stars. As a survivor, I am always inspired to read about the awesome women who have battled and won against cancer. Read on for some inspiration from the rock and roll world and how you can make a difference.
1970s icon Carly Simon underwent a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer in October 1997. During her recovery, she wrote the autobiographical album The Bedroom Tapes but feels that her record company treated her differently after her diagnosis and did not give the album proper promotion. Simon’s legendary love life includes romances with Mick Jagger and Warren Beatty, and an 11-year marriage to fellow singer-songwriter James Taylor, with whom she has two children. She has released more than 25 albums, but her best-known song remains “You’re So Vain.”
Melissa Etheridge – The Grammy winning singer was on tour in Canada in October 2004 when she discovered a lump in her left breast. A biopsy and then surgery revealed stage II cancer, which had spread only to one lymph node. Immediately following a rough two months of chemotherapy treatments, a bald and recovering Etheridge made a brave appearance at the 2005 Grammy Awards ceremony, singing “Take a Little Piece of My Heart” during a tribute to Janis Joplin. The song then became an anthem for breast cancer survivors everywhere. Etheridge is actively involved in raising breast cancer awareness.
Kylie Minogue – Australian pop superstar and actress Kylie Minogue was diagnosed in May 2005 with early-stage breast cancer. On tour at the time, she stopped performing in order to undergo chemo and radiation. She recommenced her tour in November 2006 in Sydney, Australia, in a very emotional performance for the singer; it was her first time back on stage since her diagnosis. Before becoming a best-selling pop singer, Minogue was famous in Australia and the U.K. for her role on the Australian soap opera Neighbours.
Sheryl Crow – The 44-year-old Missouri-born singer-songwriter was diagnosed in February 2006. A routine mammogram showed calcifications in both breasts and was followed by minimally invasive surgery and then radiation therapy. The star made her diagnosis public three weeks after splitting with Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France cycling champion and testicular cancer survivor.
Like Aerosmith, make pink your favorite color and wear it every single day until November, or do at least one of the following:
- Visit the Click to Give site everyday and click on the pink box. Each time you do that, a sponsor will help fund mammograms.
- Hard Rock and Melissa Etheridge have teamed up in Hard Rock’s Pinktober live music campaign for breast cancer awareness. Hard Rock Cafes and Hotels around the world are hosting Pinktober parties and live music events, raising awareness and money for local, national, and international charities, such as The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Check out a live music event near you.
- The Love/Avon Army of Women is trying to recruit one million women. Dr. Susan Love started the organization to find women to participate in the studies that will help put an end to the disease. Just enter some information about yourself on the website, and you’ll be notified if you meet the criteria for studies and asked whether you’d like to participate.
- Get moving at one of the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer events, held in cities across the country. You don’t even have to be fast.
- Look for the pink lids on Yoplait yogurt, and send them in to the company by the end of this year. For each lid they receive, Yoplait will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Competitive? Start a team and compete against others for top yogurt-eating honors.
- Find a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in a city near you and join in by walking or running the 5K or 1 mile Fun Run.