Sinking the Pink

My wife and I recently lost a dear friend named Vickie Wen after she endured a long and courageous battle with Stage IV metastatic breast cancer. Our hearts ache with grief as we remember this amazing human being. Those that knew Vickie were never the same after meeting her. She was inspiring, gracious, humble, determined, focused, outspoken, and faithful to God until the very end.

In addition to being a committed wife to her husband Art and mother to two beautiful children, Vickie was an inspiring and profound writer. Through her blog iwantmorethanapinkribbon, Vickie took all of us through her journey with cancer while providing fresh perspectives on coping with this insidious disease. Prevalent in her writings were her strong criticisms of the Pink Ribbon campaign and its misguided mission of promoting and selling pink merchandise while claiming such activity produces meaningful funding for cancer research.

I have nothing but the deepest respect for those who are battling cancer (including my wife) or for those who are survivors. In my opinion, the Pink Ribbon campaign was created with good intentions. I believe those who participate in its activities or purchase its products believe they are doing so to honor friends and loved ones.  At the end of the day, however, consider asking yourself this question: How much money is really being used for cancer research and how much is being funneled back into marketing pink products?

In my opinion, cancer is a holistic disease. It can spread very rapidly and consume the entire body. Statements such as “Saving the Ta-Tas” and other ridiculous slogans are completely missing the point. It’s about the entire body not just the parts glamorized across the covers of slick magazines. Kicking the living shit out of this god-awful and wretched disease will take an unwavering, single-focused, well-funded effort. Make no mistake, battling cancer is not about gimmicks and slogans, it’s about warfare.

To honor our friend Vickie, my wife and I have chosen to abstain from Pink Ribbon activities and the consumption of pink merchandise. We believe it’s time to get focused and serious about this disease just as our friend Vickie did.

We love you dear Vickie and know you are resting in paradise free from the ravages of cancer. We will miss you greatly.

ellen-and-vickie

Vickie (L) and my wife Ellen (R) at one of my wife’s chemo treatments.

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