C’mon Hollywood Moms, Stand up for Kids with Cancer!
By Suzanne Leigh
October means breast cancer awareness month and Hollywood has been thinking pink. Here’s who’s been out and about in honor of “Pinktober”:
• Actor and former model Rebecca Romijn introduced the “hand bra” in a humorous video made to promote breast cancer awareness month. Romijn gamely hams it up by parodying her Sports Illustrated poses and foisting a “Rebecca Romijn hand bra” on a hapless (and topless) “customer” trying to eat her lunch.
• Reality star and breast cancer survivor Giuliana Rancic made a guest appearance at the launch of
yet another breast cancer website CureDiva, which features products for “stylish living through breast cancer,” including a $16 scarlet nail polish and a $75 “post-surgical leopard camisole.” Some of the products are very appealing, but if CureDiva is directing any of its proceeds to breast cancer research, it doesn’t mention it on its site.
• Actor Katie Holmes posed for the paps buying products that support breast cancer awareness. Holmes also appeared on “Good Morning America,” which featured breast cancer patients getting makeovers.
• Singer Beyoncé has been promoting a pink nail polish in which a percentage of the cost will be donated to breast cancer awareness. (I hope the upshot of all these awareness campaigns is more than just awareness, given that the evidence now suggests that “overawareness” of breast cancer might be hurting more than it’s helping.)
When it comes to causes, we all get to choose anything that shouts out to us. Nobody should say that these celebs shouldn’t have picked pink. But why is it that these women — all of them mothers — have apparently overlooked one thing: if there is a single heartbreak worse than having cancer yourself, it is surely having your child diagnosed with a pediatric cancer.
Think about this Beyoncé et al: Imagine that your child was my child, diagnosed at aged 7 with a pediatric brain tumor, tumor-free after surgery and a toxic highball of chemo and radiation, recurred at age 10, which preceded constant treatment-induced fatigue and increasing pain and discomfort as the disease blossomed throughout the brain and spine, ending in her demise at the age of 12. There are no lifestyle changes that might have reduced her chance of getting a childhood cancer, no mammograms or self-exams that would have detected the disease early, no innovative targeted therapies that have proven successful in clinical trials (there’s not enough money to fund them) — and most devastating of all, no curative options when the tumor came back with a vengeance.
Wouldn’t it be great if one of you hot Hollywood mamas lent your razzle-dazzle to a cancer that strikes kids? You could visit families at a hospital where kids with cancer get treatment (they’d love to see you), talk to pediatric oncologists about promising research that might lead to a cure for those childhood cancers with survival rates that have stalled for decades (that includes several types of brain tumors, osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma and rhabdomyosaracoma). And then you could share your story with People magazine or “Good Morning America.” You might save lives. Children’s lives. Children just like your own. Think about it, ladies. Please.