Having spent the last 15 years of my life as a breast cancer activist and leader of the breast cancer movement, I now find myself living with a different illness: ALS (incorrectly aka Lou Gherig’s disease). The issues are both different and remarkably similar.
How I think about this illness and how I react are influenced by my years as a breast cancer activist. How people deal with me now makes me think about how people deal with others who are ill.
The purpose of this blog, Healthy Barbs, is to encourage people to learn to think in new ways about illness and health and to prompt them to be critical of the mainstream coverage of health issues.
It’s not meant to be comfortable. It’s meant to make people THINK!
Speaking of think, if you have never thought about pink ribbons and what they are connected to and cover up, take a look at the trailer for the new documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. http://www.nfb.ca/film/pink_ribbons_inc_trailer/
I was the recipient in February 2012 of a Smith College Medal for my exceptional professional accomplishmentsand outstanding contributions to the breast cancer community, which, in the words of the college, exemplify the value of a liberal arts eduction.
I was delighted and humbled to receive in December, 2012, the LoLa Hanzel Courageous Advocay award from the ACLU of Northern California for my voluteer work with the ACLU and my work as a health activist.
Also, listen to podcasts of my perspectives on KQED related to living with ALS, or any serious illness:
For information about my view of media cover of AlS see my Letter to New York Times about how research news on ALS should be released to the public
I can be reached via email: Barbara@barbarabrenner.net