October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women and is the second leading cause of death among women. Each year, an estimated 252,710 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,500 will die. **
But there is hope. There are 3.3 million breast cancer survivors alive in the United States today. Death rates from cancer have been declining since 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness and improving treatment options. And individuals, businesses, organizations and churches have come alongside cancer patients and their families to help support them. Slumberkinsis one company doing just that. Throughout October, they are donating 10% of their blush-product proceeds to National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Slumberkins are soft cuddly creatures that are coupled with a book to help support the development of social-emotional intentions. From self-esteem to family change, the books are a platform for children to be able to talk about topics that can sometimes be difficult to process. Co-founder Callie Christensen found herself struggling with how to cope when her own mom was diagnosed with cancer.
Christensen shares on the Slumberkins’ site about her experience.”
“Cancer. Undeniably the worst six-letter word I have ever heard spoken. When my mother whispered the phrase “I have cancer” through the international phone line, I was stunned. In shock. My whole world changed in a second. I was living abroad in Europe at the time, but in that moment, I didn’t want to be anywhere but back in my hometown of Vancouver, WA…The shocking thing to both of us when going to her doctor’s visits was the lack of community or education that should have come with the diagnosis. It felt like we were automatically put into a system of medical appointments and processes, but nowhere along the way was there the support system that both of us, patient and support, desperately needed to help process our emotions, our fears, and even our hopes. I remember never wanting to talk about it. I was never offended if someone asked, but my answer was always the same, “She’s good.” In actuality, she wasn’t good. She was so sick, she was a ghost of her normal self for the weeks after her treatments. My dad and I mainly supported her by just silently being there with her. Our ability to process our emotions around my mother’s cancer battle was never through words or communication. I think we each found a way to cope, or to ignore, and always to silently hope and pray that she would be okay.”
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7 And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Christensen shares some great ways to talk to your children about cancer, read more here.
Offer support. Whether it is breast cancer or some other form of cancer, each of us knows at least one person that has cancer. Ask them if there is anything that you can do to help them. It might be driving them to a doctor’s appointment, watching their children while they receive a treatment, making a meal or running errands. It can be difficult for a person to ask for help. Pray and ask God to show you someone that you can serve.
Comfort others. If you know someone that is battling cancer, offer to pray for them. Take time each week to pray for the person. Give them a call or meet up with them to see how they are doing. Ask God to show you ways that you can encourage the person. It can be helpful just to know that someone is praying for you and is there for you when you need it most.
Support businesses that give back. It could be a t-shirt, food item or a Slumberkins toy. There are several companies that are committed to helping others by donating proceeds of their sales back to cancer foundations and research.
We were given a Slumberkins. All of our thoughts and opinions are our own.
**Statistics are from National Breast Cancer Foundation.