Theresa Tee Palomares is a bundle of energy, a woman on a mission to raise awareness of metastatic breast cancer. She looked at her own community of Houston and noticed there was a problem. Most people do not know about metastatic breast cancer (also called Stage IV) or about October 13 being designated as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. She immediately took action, found the mayor’s address on the City of Houston website and sent her this letter:
Dear Mayor Annise Parker:
In supporting the month of September with the Teal colors for Ovarian Cancer Awareness and you will probably follow suit with Pink in
October for Breast Cancer Awareness, were you aware that there is one day which is given for Stage IV Breast Cancer women and men-yes, only one day!
Can you please change the lights on that day for us? Maybe Pink and Black or just Black because society has swept us under the rug-you see, less than 3% of Komen funds are given for Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer, the rest is earmarked for awareness, prevention and “PINK” advocacy, but what about us? Please follow this link http://mbcn.org/developing-awareness/category/house-resolution-senate-resolution/#senate to the MBCN.org website. This is the Senate Resolution enacted in 2009, designating October 13, as National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day!
Please take the time to support this as 40,000 women and men are dying each year with no cure in sight-no cure at least for the Stage 4 community.
Thank you for your support.
The mayor’s team was very responsive and things moved quickly and smoothly, with only a few small glitches. The City of Houston would only consider a request from a non-profit group and not an individual. They wanted to know what colors to use. Theresa wasn’t sure that turning off the lights completely would get enough attention, so she worked with our sister organization, Metavivor, and decided to light up Houston with the Metavivor colors of teal, green and pink. October 13 was not available, but the 14th and 15th were open. (Apparently there are many, many organizations that request lighting to symbolize their causes.)
Theresa was not deterred and is now planning on being at City Hall on October 13, 14 and 15, camcorder in hand, discussing metastatic disease with passers-by and distributing MBCN pamphlets and copies of the 2009 Senate Resolution for October 13. “I’ll just tell everyone we’re so pushed into the shadows that we couldn’t even get recognition on our one day – October 13,” she quipped.
Theresa invites all Houston area metastatic patients and supporters to come out and join her at City Hall each evening the weekend of October 13-14-15. You can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
When asked what she would advise others who want to follow her lead, Theresa said to start in your own community or state.
“If Houston— a large metropolis of over 2 million citywide, 4 million county wide with one of the largest medical centers in the United States —was not aware of October 13th, how many more cities and towns are not aware? ONE PERSON can make a difference, so please be that one person to light the fire.”
Email your mayor, suggest changing the lighting if they use it or suggest passing a resolution to honor October 13 as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. If the community has a program on breast cancer, ask to participate in it, and use your voice to educate people about metastatic disease. Email us at email@example.com and we can answer your questions and supply pamphlets, t shirts and information. For other suggestions see our MBCA advocacy kit.
Way to go Tee!!! Like I told you… You are a human dynamo!! You are doing such an amazing job advocating for Stage IV . The public needs educated and sometimes that education needs to come directly from the source. You are a wonderful example of this. Thanks to Houston for being so responsive, as well. I would only hope that other municipalities are as open to learn more about Stage IV and will recognize our day of October 13th.
Just wanted to reiterate that all of the advocacy for funding is one slide in the right direction but there is also a great need to get awareness out there and that is why I am going to my city hall and videoing the message of the National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day-this resolution has been out since 2009, yet Komen didn’t even recognize it because when they came in requesting city hall to light up the building PINK, they requested the first 2 weeks of Pinktober, INCLUDING Oct 13th!!! Well they cannot have this day! This one day is for you and for me!!! Please click on this link and print out the resolution to share with your communities and paste the link onto your emails and social web pages. We have to get the word out-it’s only been since 2009 that this resolution has been in place-isn’t it about time we start advocating it??? MBCN and their constituents worked hard on getting this passed for us, please get the word out in your communities on this day, OUR DAY-OCTOBER 13th!!!
Actually, Robin in Texas who passed away over a year ago, was so excited to have gotten to proclamations in her home state and one was in Houston. Just sayin…
Not sure what your trying to say Nancy, if you have information that would be useful for the State Of Texas, could you please email me in private-all I know is that my mayor was made aware by a simple email-sometimes things get lost in the cracks-but it’s about moving forward, which brings me to this thought-I would not have been able to do it own my own without the help of MBCN and Metavivor. I advocate doing things on your own but when you come across a wall you cannot climb alone, please look to your organizations for help!!!! You don’t have to give up, you just have to get help!!!
Tee, You are 100% correct!!! I have been leaving msgs with my mayor’s secretary for over a week and I think it’s time for an “in home” visit! haha!!
Nancy, did Robin get some sort of proclaimation signed in TX that could possibly help, not in Houston, but for other municipalities? If so, that would be awesome if there were something already in place that Tee could just refer too. I’m sure if you could give her that information, it would make things easier to get things done all over TX!!
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