We often post stories to our social media pages about inflammatory breast cancer and get comments like “we need to do more.” Yes, we do. You may be thinking that as just one person there is nothing you can do that will make a significant difference.
Have you ever heard that a ripple could cause a tidal wave, or a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a tornado? While that cannot technically happen, it does make a point. Small things matter and are connected to a larger system.
Here is a list of several small things you can do to help make a difference.
- Engage with social media posts. – When you engage with a post on our social media pages or profiles, either by liking it or sharing it, that post will be shown to more people. The social media platform’s algorithm notices the engagement and thinks “oh this must be good” and will show it to a wider audience.
- Shop with the Amazon smile link. – AmazonSmile is a program that donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases on Amazon to a charity of your choice. All you need to do is to select the IBC Network Foundation as your charity of choice and start shopping at smile.amazon.com. This will generate donations at no extra cost to you. While 0.5% may not sound like a lot of money, it does add up over time. The IBC Network Foundation link is https://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-3850833
- Host a fundraiser – With Facebook you can create a fundraiser. For your birthday. or just at any time you wish to celebrate or support a cause. It is a simple and effortless way to give back. If you have your Instagram account connected to your Facebook account, then the fundraiser will be available on Instagram also. Another way to fundraise is to host an in-person event. We have had people host bowling fundraisers, running and/or walking events, and scavenger hunts! Email us if you are interested in hosting an event.
- Sponsor and attend events. – When your favorite charity hosts an event, ask how you can become a sponsor. If you own a business, you can often make a donation and have your business name featured prominently at the event. In addition to sponsorship, attending the event is another way to support your favorite charity. There are usually raffles, door prizes, auctions, or silent auctions in which you can participate. Even volunteering at events can be a tremendous help.
- Help in the online community. – Our online community has its own website and forum. Sometimes it gets quiet and someone is needed to help keep the conversations flowing. If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer and are able to help, you can join the community here. If you see the conversation slowing down, jump in and offer a comment or start a new topic.
- Become an IBC advocate. – We offer an online course that you can take at your own pace to become an advocate. The IBC Learning Academy trains advocates to promote the unique needs of IBC patients. Some areas of discussion are improving access to specialty care, increasing education around clinical trials, and participating in lobbying. Advocates may also serve on decision-making boards of local, state, and national organizations, committees, and Institutional Review Boards. The more people with extensive knowledge of IBC, the better we can help patients.
- Donate – While we help in many ways, our main focus is funding inflammatory breast cancer research. For example, Dr. Naoto Ueno is a breast medical oncologist affiliated with MD Anderson. To support Dr. Ueno’s research, he needs $600,000 over the next three years. We need to raise over $200,000 this year to support his research alone. This is just one example of one researcher. (Read more about Dr. Ueno’s research.) There are other doctors and researchers that will need funding so that better treatments and even a cure can be found. Setting up a monthly donation is a wonderful way to continually give without having to think about it. Even a small monthly donation helps.
- Employee Matching Gift Programs. – Ask your HR department if they offer this program. They will direct you on how to proceed. Your $50 donation will automatically become $100.
These are all simple effortless steps to take in helping the fight against inflammatory breast cancer so yes, even just one person can make a difference.