GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it has been for years. But a much more recent effort is bringing awareness to the deadliest form of breast cancer.
Oct. 13 is Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Awareness Day. MBC is stage 4 breast cancer that has spread outside the breast -- usually to the lungs, liver, bones, and/or brain. Why is a day like today necessary for this specific cancer? 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer and of those, 30% will develop MBC.
Darlene Wilson is living with MBC in the Detroit area and says that very little of the money raised during October actually go towards researching the disease.
"Only 2-5% of all breast cancer funds that are being raised during 'Pinktober' and similar events go towards finding a cure," Wilson explained. "Or even additional treatments to make this a chronic disease instead of a deadly disease that it is today."
Currently the limited treatments that are available to address MBC come with debilitating side effects, some take away a patient's ability to walk, others cause blisters in their mouths or crushing headaches.
For Wilson, the drug she takes causes heart damage. She has to get regular echocardiograms and the day may come when he doctor says they need to change treatments.
"We just feel that if there was more money being allocated to MBC that research could hopefully find additional treatments that would make this a more livable disease," Wilson said.
Each day 115 people die from MBC, and in honor of that statistic, more than 115 landmarks in cities in all 50 states will be lit up with the colors of MBC: teal, green and pink to raise awareness about this disease. That includes the Blue Bridge and the McKay Tower in Grand Rapids.
This year, the #LightUpMBC LIVE event will happen at 8 p.m. on the METAvivor Facebook page as well as their website. There will also musical performances by John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls and David Byran of Bon Jovi.
Donna Waters is currently living with MBC in Grandville. She shares why this day is so important and how you can get involved in this special event tonight.
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