Yesterday I did something I almost never do during the day: I turned on the TV. I just needed to clear my head for a few minutes while I ate a late lunch. Katie Couric’s show was on and I tuned in just in time to see her interview with Cate Edwards, daughter of John and Elizabeth Edwards.
Cate was tremendously poised as she talked about her mom’s fight with breast cancer. It’s hard to believe, but it’s been nearly 3 years since Elizabeth died. The Edwards lived in Chapel Hill, N.C. which is right down the road from where I grew up in Raleigh. The Westboro Baptist Church decided to protest at her funeral for God knows what... maybe because she supported gay rights or maybe because her husband had committed adultery. At this point, they don’t really need a reason to send out a press release and say they’re showing up, do they? Her funeral was at Edenton Street Methodist, one of Raleigh’s most stately and oldest churches.
You know what happened? More than 300 proud North Carolinians showed up to meet the protesters and linked arms to form a circle to keep the Westboro Baptist Church protesters out and away from those attending the funeral, including John, Cate and her siblings.
Cate talked primarily about the Count Us, Know Us, Join Us initiative, whose mission it is to honor those living with advanced breast cancer, since each stage of cancer has different needs than the other stages. It also seeks to recognize those taking care of loved ones with advanced stage breast cancer. It offers the latest news on treatments and links to resources. It also serves as a way to keep people going through advanced cancer from feeling less alone.
Count Us, Know Us, Join Us doesn’t take donations (because it’s funded by a pharmaceutical company), but a number of the organizations that it links to do, so I picked the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation.
Linda Creed was a songwriter who died of breast cancer when she was 37. Among the songs she co-wrote include a whole lot of the Stylistics’ hits, including “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” “I’m Stone In Love With You” and “Break Up To Make Up,” as well as The Spinners’ “The Rubberband Man.”
Founded shortly after her death 24 years ago, the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation is dedicated to helping women in the Delaware Valley (where Linda lived) fight breast cancer. Among its initiatives is stressing early detection. Now, more than 15 area hospitals participate in free mammography screenings for the uninsured and underinsured. The Foundation’s $500,000 annual budget comes directly from private sources and grants.
Oct. 15: Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation
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