WriterGirl team membeer share their breast cancer storiesWhen this blog post assignment popped up on my to-do list, it sparked the usual panic. Every time it’s my turn to contribute a post, I stress over what I’ll write about. Not good for a content marketer who actually loves to write.

A quick look at WriterGirl’s content calendar directed me to a list of health awareness months. (Don’t have one as part of your content strategy? You should.) October. Of course — I’d write something for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I set off in search of powerful breast cancer awareness campaign examples, asking my WriterGirl peers to share inspiring ads they really like. It didn’t take long for the responses to start rolling in. This was going to be an easy content win!

“We celebrated her “cancer-free” test results only to be shocked time and time again at its return. I watched her wondering why this was happening. Our daughters played volleyball together, and it broke my heart to watch her and her family ride the roller coaster that is breast cancer. She fought the whole time and she fought with all that she had.”  – A friend

Opening one email after the next on a busy afternoon, I read my co-workers’ words. Hmmm. They weren’t sharing many advertising photos or graphics. While I didn’t yet have a compelling image to post, a different sort of picture was emerging.

“I said something in front of a friend who has been through breast cancer about how long it had been since my last mammogram. She called me by my full name including my middle and maiden. It hit me that my attitude was almost disrespectful to her. (It won’t happen to me.)  I finally got screened in honor of my friends who have been through breast cancer. Basically, all of the campaigns just turn me off but doing it for my friend was motivating.”   – A rebel

The power of stories

A pink ribbon is just a ribbon. A poignant photo of a stranger is just art. They’re symbols, but they won’t drive most of us to take what may be lifesaving action.

“I’ve heard my mom say a few times since her last diagnosis that even though she hates going to the doctor now and knows that she may not get the results that she wants, she wants my sister and me to always consider what we would be giving up if something progressed and we didn’t know because we were too scared to get our test.”    – A daughter

Sharing a story is powerful. Stories about personal experiences break through the clutter in our brains and social feeds. They build bridges across cultures and generations, and empower us for the journey ahead.

“I never felt like I was alone on a raft in the middle of the ocean during my treatment. That’s the power of stories and connections. Stories of encouragement, hope, triumph and loss kept me moving forward on days I didn’t think I could. Today, the survivorship journey is also made easier because of the brave women who share the realities that come with survivorship.”   – A survivor

Know the facts

Perhaps most importantly, stories help bring the facts to life. Like these from the Susan G. Komen organization:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S., accounting for 30% of newly diagnosed cancers.
  • Improvement in the understanding, early detection and treatment led to a 40% decline in breast cancer deaths in the U.S. between 1989 and 2016.
  • There are more than 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S.

This October, as you consider a gift to breast cancer research and get your annual mammogram, take five minutes to share your story. It just may change a life.

Let us help tell your stories. The WriterGirl team can turn your stories into rich, readable content for every audience. Connect with us to learn more.