Do it for the winners and the losers.

June is just about upon us. Personally, it’s my favorite month of the year. Not too hot yet, but definitely summer. Lots of fests on the weekends, late evening sun, plenty of front porch sitting with friends and family. But June is also serious for a lot of Americans, because June is National Cancer Awareness Month.

Forget just breast cancer, just leukemia, just colon cancer, June means ALL cancer. From brain to bone cancer, and everything in between. Today, estimates indicate that over 12.5 million Americans are currently battling some form of invasive cancer, with breast, brain and skin cancer making the largest contributions. Considering the current number of Americans today, that means roughly 1 in every 26 Americans is suffering from cancer. And that’s mind-boggling to me. If there’s a better reason to wear purple cancer awareness ribbons this month, I can’t think of one.

Cancer research has come so incredibly far since legitimate research started in the 19th century, and cancer is no longer a guaranteed death sentence, but even in 2013 it certainly is no cake walk. Ask any cancer survivor and they’ll have their own inspiring but harrowing tale to tell. And every one of those success stories is yet another amazing reason to support cancer research with purple awareness ribbons.

Of course, for all the success stories, there are too many tragedies. Friends and family who fought hard and were taken too soon. It is for them more than anything else that cancer research continues: to promise one day that no one else will lose a battle with cancer, or perhaps, even get cancer at all. And awareness ribbons play a major role in providing support both emotional and monetary to all involved in this life or death battle.

Honestly, I don’t care if you wear purple awareness ribbons just because all your friends are doing it, it matches your outfit, whether it’s because you have it, your mom has it, or you lost a good friend to cancer. At the heart of it, I just want cancer sufferers/survivors and research to get the funding and the emotional support it all deserves. Like the sportswear giant says: Just Do It.

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