Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mammograms And Breast Cancer Awareness

October is designated as breast cancer awareness month, but it's never too early or too late to remind women of the importance of getting their mammograms, particularly if they're at risk. Breast cancer survival rates depend on how early it's detected, and it would behoove one to catch any potential cancer before it spreads its evil cells throughout the rest of the body. It could mean the difference between relatively minor surgery (like a lumpectomy) and losing a breast or two (mastectomy) , or worse yet your life.

Of course, mammograms are one of those things women have a tendency to put off. Being forced to flatten our breasts like pancakes between 2 pieces of cold, hard metal is a form of cruel torture, and something none of us relish. I'd rather have my pancakes with maple syrup, thank you very much, but I'd also like to keep my breasts. Hopefully some day soon, some savvy, compassionate female will invent a contraption that's a tad less tear-inducing, because we all know it had to have been some mom-hating male who created the current mammogram machine. Too bad men don't have to have their privates flattened like ours; I think the design would have been far less torturous.

Besides mammograms, one shouldn't forget the breast self exam.

Keeping up to date with mammograms and breast self exams we should be able to keep our bodies relatively intact.

Thankfully, there are lots of people doing their bit to keep breast health awareness alive and well and in our consciousness. I received a request from someone who put the following video together to promote the importance of mammograms , in honour of a friend who is a breast cancer survivor.

Then there are the organizations, like the breastcancersite, that are not only a source of information, but also allow individuals to click daily on the "click here to give" button. By clicking, sponsors will donate to charities that provide mammograms to those in need. It costs you nothing but a second of your time.

And remember, breast cancer doesn't only affect women, men have been known to get breast cancer, as well.

Know your body and keep abreast of breast health awareness, it could be a matter or life or death.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Patrick Henry Hughes- Making The Most Out Of Life

I have written about Patrick Henry Hughes before, but after watching another video that was forwarded to me recently, I was inspired to write again. He's always worth writing about.

Born without eyes and crippled at birth, Patrick is a musical genius who started playing the piano before his 1st birthday, and requests by his 2nd. He and his parents have never allowed his physical challenges to undermine his potential, and Patrick therefore sees his 'challenges' not as disabilities but as abilities. He plays the piano beautifully, as well as the trumpet.

I initially wrote about the selflessness of Patrick's dad, who works the graveyard shift for UPS (11pm to 6 am) then spends all day long with his son at classes at the University of Lousiville, and then attends marching band practice, where he wheels Patrick around the field while his son plays the trumpet. He also accompanies his son to various events, all over the country and the world, where Patrick has been invited as a keynote speaker. He has also written a book entitled I AM POTENTIAL, which I also wrote about.

He truly is an inspiration to both able-bodied and disabled people. In the following video he says:

" God made me blind and unable to walk, big deal. He gave me the ability to - the musical gifts I have and the great opportunity to meet new people....."

He can also add being an inspiration to others. If a blind, crippled young man can achieve incredible goals, so can we. All it takes is faith and seeing oneself as full of potential.