Once I dyed my beard pink to support local breast cancer survivor, Emilie Bonneville, I knew i would get some stares and funny looks but I never expected a few of the encounters that really reminded me of why I did it in the first place.
People who know me and are aware of this little stunt I pulled to help raise funds for breast cancer wanted to see me in the pink beard for a little, or big, chuckle. That’s fair, they donated to make it happen.
BUT…there are those who just look my way in disapproval of my possible mid-life crisis. The look that says “dude, there are better ways to look younger” or “he must have a criminal record”. My wife notice plenty I didn’t while we were shopping at the Square on Saturday.
What I didn’t expect were other survivors and/or their family members coming to ask me if it was pink for breast cancer. When my reply was “yes” and I could explain to them this pink beard helped raise over $2500 for the cause they thanked me for my efforts and commended me for supporting the women in my life, those around me and not being afraid to “put myself out there” for ridicule.
Since I went pink, I have also received more donations from people who forgot about the fundraiser or just still want to help out even through the pink dye job is done.
While I do appreciate all the positive comments I get for being “brave” enough to do this I can’t help but think otherwise.
Let me explain…
My friend Emilie had breast cancer at the tender age of 28, she was the mother of a one year old at the time, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a BFF and colleague to many people. She and her family and friends had to go through a tough battle to beat this disease. She went through the chemo, radiation, surgery and hair loss. She is the brave one. She kicked cancer in the cahonies and is now sharing her story to motivate other young women, or women in general,to do their own or get a breast exam done so they don’t have to go through that fight.
Emilie is a fighter, Emilie is an inspiration, Emilie is a survivor and I am proud to have been able to make a small contribution, Emilie deserves all the credit for her courage and motivation to keep up the fight to help others kick cancer in the cahonies or better yet maybe someday find a cure.
Thank you Emilie.