Awareness Matters: A Survivor’s Journal Entry

Fear of the unknown creates the “fight or flight” reaction in me, and I know this is the case for many others…especially when it comes to health. But being better informed, or even just being more conscious about diseases and prevention, can make a world of difference. This is where our doctors come in, assisting us through routine physicals and talking about health maintenance on a regular basis.

Why Do Awareness Months Matter?

In October alone, Breast Cancer, ADHD, Brain Tumors, Child Abuse, Lupus, and Mental Health share Awareness Month, along with a list of other causes in the U.S. and internationally. Raising awareness is not only for the survivors and their family members. They already know about the issue and want to raise awareness and support for others. They want to dispel fear and provide a platform to fight it.

In an earlier journal, I even questioned, “Should breast cancer be the focus?” And the resound answer is Yes… along with a list of other (equally important) causes to recognize this month and throughout the year. Awareness campaigns allow us to increase our knowledge and change our perceptions. There is a sense of community and support for that cause that’s created by walking together, doing fundraisers and sharing experiences.

Sharing With The Masses

In an era of viral videos, 30 days of thanks, and ice bucket challenges, raising awareness has become popular through social media. I’ve learned so much from social media and various online campaigns that otherwise I may not have heard. This committed effort to raise awareness also allows us to talk about issues with others at work and in our community in day to day casual conversations, at the water cooler in break rooms for example.

But maybe more importantly than raising awareness, and us becoming more comfortable talking about issues, is that we’re taking better care of ourselves because these campaigns have made it the trend. We build the relationships (with co-workers, friends, family members and doctors) that provide support and strength to live well and overcome the unknown. When this occurs, we no longer have to live in fear of the unknown. We are empowered, encouraged and educated.

 
Cancer Care - LeBauer

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