Courage My Love: How A Young Breast Cancer Survivor's Bravery Changed My Life
"Not just as women, but also as humans, we are all a community. We need to support, defend, and educate one another. It's not just about scientists and doctors finding a cure to this disease. It's also about everyone, no matter what they have to offer, joining together and fighting the fear and social stigma that comes with it. It's about redefining the female form. It's about courage. We are proud to contribute in any way to Keep A Breast's ongoing fight against breast cancer and stand beside our sisters and brothers in this fight. Everyone I know has had a brush with this disease, whether it's someone in his or her family, a friend, a neighbor, or an acquaintance from work. I remember my very first personal encounter with breast cancer. My friend from a theatre production I was in as a young teen. She was only 20 years old at the time, and already diagnosed with breast cancer. She'd had to undergo the pain of a mastectomy. Even then, when I was 15 years old, I marveled at her strength and bravery, the way she gracefully accepted her circumstances and found positivity, even blessings, in everything that she had gone through! She was even able to joke about it: "Yeah I look like a boy!" The courage it takes to have this society's inflicted symbol of femininity and beauty taken away from you at such a young age, the age when you are supposed to explore your sexuality, feel your most sexy and vibrant, and still project such confidence, I had never seen anything like it. She taught me that after someone goes through a terrible hardship in their lives, after they experience terrible pain, there are two possible outcomes: they are either crushed by the sorrow of their experience and haunted their entire lives, or they overcome it and fully blossom as a human being. I've never met a more positive person in my life, someone who mentored me without even realizing the effect her actions would have on me. It changed my life. To me, she is the true definition of bravery. And that is truly beautiful.
I wish that there were more stories like hers. Early detection saved her life! But more than that I wish that something could have been done to spare her the pain she went through before it was too late to find any other options. I don't just wish that for her, but for every woman out there battling breast cancer. Cancer has taken many people I love out of my life too early, My Oma, my grandfather, my friend's brother, my friend's mother, my aunt, and my friend’s parents. Cancer is causing pain to the ones I love today, but if I've learned anything from the people in my life who've fought against cancer, whether they've won, or lost, or are still fighting, it's that you can't let these hard experiences own you or define you. You have to rise up every day, look at yourself in the mirror and love who you are, love the things about you that most people don't ever witness, and realize that you have the power to change how you experience your life.
We all have the power to change our lives, as well as the lives of others around us. We have a duty to use that power for good.
I am proud to be supporting a cause that strikes a chord of passion in my heart, a cause that is a beacon of hope for so many. Join the fight and support Keep A Breast, and let's make this year a year of hope. " - Mercedes
We're all so excited to have the opportunity to work with The Keep A Breast Foundation in raising awareness of ways to prevent breast cancer, and ultimately eradicate the disease altogether. We've been working with them behind the scenes and are proud to announce we will be releasing a four song EP entitled "Spirit Animal" in collaboration with Keep A Breast at this year's Vans Warped Tour!
It is a limited edition, shaped CD (only 1000 copies printed) and will be available exclusively at Vans Warped Tour this summer. We will donate $2.00 from the sale of each EP to The Keep A Breast Foundation in support of their many efforts to raise awareness and put an end to this disease that has ruined so many lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mercedes Arn-Horn is the lead singer/guitarist of Juno nominated Canadian rock band Courage My Love, who will be on the entire Vans Warped Tour this summer. Aside from being a passionate musician, she is also an ardent advocate of social and political justice and human rights. Courage My Love have worked with charitable organizations such as Amnesty International, Warchild, PETA, and are now proud to be joining forces with Keep A Breast in the fight against breast cancer.