'Do some research' before you buy pink, Sudbury cancer patient says
"Let's try and steer some money away from awareness and let's put it towards research," says Melanie Grillanda
A Sudbury woman says while the annual pink ribbon breast cancer campaign is well-intended, she feels the public needs to think more critically when buying pink products — and when donating to cancer causes.
Melanie Grillanda was just 39 years old when she was diagnosed with metastatic stage four breast cancer in 2013.
Each year, she's said she's reminded of that fact during October, which is breast cancer awareness month.
"I have enough awareness," she said.
"In fact, I need more awareness like I need tumours in my liver."
Grillanda acknowledges the campaign is well-meaning.
"But there's a lot of money going into that well-meaningness," she said.
"Money that people think that they're donating that [is] going towards something more useful like research, are actually going to creating more awareness campaigns."
Cancer has 'its own awareness campaign'
She said people seem to buy pink products because they believe their money is going to a good cause, like research.
"In fact, there are certain cases where most of that money doesn't actually ever get to research or even some of it goes to awareness but what good is awareness doing?" she said.
"Let's face it. There's not a soul after the age of 30 that doesn't know somebody who's had cancer. Cancer's doing its own awareness campaign for free."
She said she encourages people who want to help to ask questions about where their money is going.
"Use critical thinking when choosing a charity, when choosing to buy a product," she said.
"Do some research [and] don't do an impulse buy or an impulse donation. Let's try and steer some money away from awareness and let's put it towards research."
With files from Jessica Pope