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One of the many things that fell through the cracks this past year was my annual mammogram. Yes, I write about health pretty much every day, but I neglected my own.

I know better, especially since my Mom is a breast cancer survivor. Having what’s out front smashed flatter than a pancake has never seemed like fun. That made it easy to lean on a lame (but familiar) excuse: I was too busy.

Should I mention that I was too busy the previous year? And the year before that? So this month (three years late) I finally bellied up to the bar, so to speak.

I was not afraid.

I feel entitled to my good health, convinced that nothing bad should ever happen to me or mine. When the radiologist asked me to come back for additional tests, yes, then I was afraid.

Thankfully, all is well for me. I DO NOT HAVE BREAST CANCER. But, for the first time, I can now imagine what it might be like to hear the words. I was bracing myself—just in case someone said them to me.

My negligence has another paradox: I donate money for breast cancer research and support services each year. After Mom and several good friends weathered breast cancer, I determined that it would always be one of my causes.

Three years ago, I made friends with Jody DeFord, and together, we decided to make Pink Ribbon Connection the recipient of any profits from a joint project, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pink Sweater.

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As a resource for women with breast cancer, the Pink Ribbon Connection provides important local support, such as:

  • Helping women get good nutrition as they navigate through treatments
  • Spreading good news about new discoveries and results from clinical trials
  • Helping patients figure out how to share their diagnosis with children and other family members
  • Encouraging women to press on in their journey back to better health
  • Providing wigs and other needed products

Thanks to 15 local women, our project raised a modest amount of money for the Pink Ribbon Connection. It was featured in the Indy Star, the Huffington Post and Indy With Kids.

Now, our vintage sweater is sharable.

This year, we’re making it easier for friends and readers to help Pink Ribbon Connection provide these services. You can help when you purchase ($22 plus tax) a set of 10 notecards & envelopes. All profits from sales go directly to the Pink Ribbon Connection.

9x6 sweater



Each card is printed with our pink vintage sweater (notable for its ribbon-shaped scarf), charmingly illustrated by Indianapolis artist Sarah Anderson. Sarah co-owns On the Cusp Design with her husband Dave. They were both keen to help because Sarah has a close relative who also had breast cancer.

We pack each set of cards in a hot pink organza bag—ready as a gift and perfect for anyone who still writes notes that travel by snail mail. (Check out our Buy Now button.)

Maybe you’re not the letter-writing type. (You might change your mind about this old-fashioned pursuit when you read this post, or this one or especially this one.)

Either way, you can still help, if you wish, by making a direct donation to the Pink Ribbon Connection. We’re grateful for anyone who climbs on board!

Now, if it’s not too personal, let me ask: have you had your annual mammogram? Has your wife? Or your sister or sister-in-law? Or your daughter? Or your niece? Please don’t do what I did—don’t put it off. Let’s keep reminding each other that these annual tests save lives by detecting breast cancer early. If you’re reading this post, please do us another favor. Share it in your social networks. We would really like to give Pink Ribbon Connection a nice boost this year.

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.