I saw this ad in one of the local daily newspapers and groaned audibly. Breast cancer awareness! Really? By now isn’t every person in the developed world who can fog a mirror aware of breast cancer?
Apparently not. And the irony may be that it is the very fittest who are most immune to the message.
No woman sees breast cancer coming. But it’s probably even more true when you’re young, strong, and healthy.
Listen to the breast cancer story of Annabeth Eberle. The elite athlete was a seven-year member of the US National Gymnastics team, a featured performer in the 2006 Touchstone gymnastics movie Stick It and an eight-time All American at the University of Utah. She was diagnosed at age 27.
Eberle was the veritable poster girl for fitness when she noticed one of her breasts was getting smaller. A visit to her doctor brought the bad news.
“When you are young you think no way will this happen to me,” she told the Deseret News. “It really does happen. It helped me to tell her my story and to get it out. I really think that talking about it helps.”
The breast cancer awareness message still needs to be heard, especially by the rising generation.
“I’m not trying to be conceited, but maybe seeing me, people will realize this can happen to anyone, even athletes and you need to go and get checked and be aware of your body,” Eberle told the Salt Lake Tribune. “That is what saved my life.”
After a mastectomy Eberle is currently cancer-free. The University honored Eberle in her fight with a ‘Pink-Out’ during the meet against Arizona State University on Feb. 4, 2011. Everyone who wore pink got free general admission seating. Both teams wore pink and 4,000 Power of Pink t-shirts were handed out to the crowd. The crowd of 12,836 was treated to a number of tribute videos about Eberle.
I like the promotion, but the University of Utah, which has a medical school, could have closed the loop a little better. Mammograms aren’t typically recommended for women as young as Eberle, but the University could have handed out brochures, offered screenings, delivered post-meet lectures and the like.
Labels: Annabeth Eberle, Stick It, University of Utah