A Three Day Walk

I have been debating walking in the Susan G. Komen 3 day breast cancer walk next year. Talking to a couple of people, they will support me but not Susan G. Komen because they do research into areas that they don’t agree with. On a forum I read about people trashing this organization because they promote research into pharmaceuticals instead of telling people how to prevent cancer.

After to talking to a breast cancer survivor, I have a few issues with this. First. SGK does more than just research. They help low income women and their families get the care they need. Politically they have lobbied such that the full treatment for breast cancer is covered for families with medicaid. They offer low income mammograms and screenings. They provide wigs to those women who need them and can’t afford them. They do makeovers. They provide financial help to those who need it to pay rent when they can’t work.

This organizations promotes awareness that the disease is fixed. From the standpoint of a yoga student, my teacher often reminds me awareness is the first step to change. While the people who argue that we need to work on prevention have a point, I think we also need to realize that for many people, prevention should have happened yesterday. For others, they aren’t sure what they can do to prevent a disease. There are many conflicting ideas. I say, these people need to sit in their awareness. We all have a lot to learn.

Going back to the post from Wednesday, I will argue that we should stop throwing away and opting out of what we think doesn’t work. Instead we need to work to change the focus. I think we do need to change our focus on health care. However, I also think that disease will happen no matter what. We can work to minimize it but we can’t control everything for perfect health. We need places doing research of many different types. I advocate more alternative health research and research into preventing and working with diseases. We need to support and assist others in their health care crisis rather than tossing them out and saying, in effect, “You messed up, now deal with it and not on my dollar.”

There is value in every person. To support or not to support something has to come from compassion. Tough love has a place, but it shouldn’t be the place from which we start. Is it more compassionate to tell a woman with breast cancer that sorry, you should have prevented it in the first place or lift her up as she heals and work with her to make sure she gets the healing she needs?

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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