My Disease Comes with a Marching Band

My Disease Comes with a Marching Band
Get ready, October is here, and everything will be pink, maybe even a marching band. At local schools, football players will be wearing pink socks at the homecoming game. My new hometown, Palm Desert, California, will “Paint El Paseo Pink” and our main thoroughfare will be decked out with balloons, ribbons, live music and fun treats. Here, on one oversized Saturday in October, even dogs wear tutus. Grown men dye their hair fushia, and women drape themselves in costume jewelry and outrageous attire. Young and old, rich and poor, men and women, all races and creeds, we come together for a moment of unity around breast cancer. It’s a time to remember those we love who have lost their lives to this disease, to support the ones fighting it now, and to hope that future generations can put this worry aside. For a day, my disease becomes a party. The good news is that my condition has captured the public’s attention. That means it gets resources to find treatments, cures, and support for patients and families. The bad news is, well, I have a disease so bad that it gets its own month. The first year I participated in an October Breast Cancer event, I felt timid. I would have preferred to stay home, but it was important to my husband and daughter. We made our way to downtown Lakeport in Northern California, and I was dumbfounded at the size of the crowd. My tiny rural community had put together an amazing display of effort and creativity, and I was deeply touched by how many people had spent time, money and energy to create an atmosphere almost electric with hopefulness. It took my breath away. My daughter Lauren was delighted with the folderall, running from one booth to the next and bumping into everyone she knew. The Master of Ceremonies
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