As our hearts and prayers go out to those who have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy, we must also never forget the millions of women who are battling another storm of massive destructive power.
On Monday night, Hurricane Sandy tore up the East Coast, with torrential rain and barreling winds that persisted into Tuesday night. In its path, the super-storm took the lives of over 50 people, caused massive floods and left millions without power. As Hurricane Sandy’s hard-hit victims begin to pick up the pieces, returning to “daily life” after such devastation must seem daunting. But, there is hope for a real recovery.
The hurricane didn’t just take a physical toll - it took an emotional and stressful toll as well. While there is never a convenient time for such destruction, the timing of this storm was especially bad. From kids and families excited to celebrate Halloween, to those hard at work on the presidential campaign, there is no denying that Hurricane Sandy came at a culturally and politically sensitive time.
Yet, in the midst of all the hype, I couldn’t help but notice a very important topic slipping under the radar, one that’s worthy of our attention. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time when the country places special attention on a disease that has killed millions and continues to take lives on a daily basis. It is a silent killer. This year alone, it is estimated that there will be “39,510 breast cancer deaths.”
Many women are battling for their lives now. Some have won, including Ann Romney, who recently wrote about her experience overcoming breast cancer:
It’s been a humbling experience to share my story with women across America and hear them open their hearts to me about their battles with the disease.
My own trial with breast cancer, as well as my ongoing struggle with multiple sclerosis, has taught me several important lessons. And these lessons are not simply about myself but also about those I love. Following my diagnosis, my husband, Mitt, stood by my side without reservation. He has been my steady champion.
Romney has not only proven to be a strong and courageous woman, but also a leader. It is people like Ann who help remind us to put things into perspective, even during this sensitive time for our country, a time of hurricanes, holidays and politics. So on this last day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I ask that your prayers remain with the victims of Hurricane Sandy but also those who have lost loved ones to breast cancer and those who are battling it now. When obstacles seem too daunting and hard to overcome, have faith that there is always hope for recovery.
Anna Sekulow is director of digital policy for the American Center for Law and Justice.