Wednesday, November 04, 2015

On Tour with CBCF

It’s no secret that I love my job. Don’t get me wrong, I’d happily be looking for other work if they found a cure for cancer tomorrow or if I was able to eradicate this disease myself, but until that time, helping to share information and empower people to know more and do better when it comes to their breast health is the next best thing.

Don’t Forget to Check on Tour supported by RBC Foundation is a campaign I manage and its goal is to reach young women and men, age 18-25, with our breast health information and risk reduction messaging. The campaign takes place in September and October when we visit post-secondary campuses throughout British Columbia as they’re getting into their fall semester after the summer break.

One of the reasons why I enjoy this campaign as much as I do is because of how receptive the students are. It is our opportunity to interact with them in a casual, fun way, while sharing important breast health and risk reduction messaging.  We hand out materials that are engaging and practical and we use our breast health trivia wheel for conversation and information sharing. It is hard nowadays to meet someone who hasn’t been affected  by breast cancer in some way, and these young students are no exception. Everyone has a story, but not everyone has all the facts. That is where we come in. My favourite memories on campus are the, as Oprah calls them, “a-ha” moments. Those moments when we’ve shared something they didn’t know before or helped to clear up a misconception they had.

Many post-secondary students are away from home for the first time when they go to college/university and the risk reduction messaging we share informs them that by adopting behaviours such as being active, eating well, limiting alcohol, not smoking, and knowing how their breasts normally look and feel, they can greatly affect their breast health. I am not naive enough to think that we can influence all of their behaviours, but I do believe that we arm them with the knowledge (and the “why” behind it) to make better informed decisions – that right there is one of the many reasons I love my job.

Knowledge is power, right?

Amanda McNally
Community Relations Specialist