Dear Fabulous Ladies,

Once again it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – time to share my heartfelt gratitude for my own immense blessings and to shout from the rooftops about the critical importance of early detection and prevention.

In the past year alone, so many readers’ lives have been touched in some way by breast cancer—either you or a woman you adore has had a scare or has been diagnosed or is undergoing treatment or has tragically lost her battle. But I take this opportunity to remind you, my friends, that you are empowered to make a difference for yourselves and in the lives of others:

• If you are due (or overdue) for a mammogram, please call today to schedule it. If you’ve never been before and are scared to go, or if you continually put off appointments because you dread them, know that if you live within driving distance I would be honored to go with you and hold your hand in the waiting room. I’ll even take you out afterwards for lunch or a glass of wine or a big hot fudge sundae.

• If someone you know has a strong family history of breast cancer and suspects they may have a BRCA genetic mutation, urge them to have genetic testing. Or give them my number and have them get in touch with me for encouragement and support to do it. Getting the results of the test is truly the scariest part of that whole journey. Knowledge is power!

• If you’re lucky enough to have healthy breasts, help fund research for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Make a donation to support the pursuit of a cure to one of the many extraordinary organizations doing invaluable, life-changing work in this area. Help raise funds by supporting the events these organizations sponsor and shopping for products whose profits support the cause. So many of you were unbelievably generous this past winter in helping Ben raise nearly $25,000 for Komen on the occasion of his bar mitzvah. With the largest single gift being $2,500 (which was then matched by an employer), but most gifts being more realistic and just as appreciated, he got to see first-hand that donations of any size add up quickly. Don’t ever think that what you can give is too insignificant – every dollar can make a difference to women who are courageously battling for their lives.

I treasure your friendship – no, make that your sisterhood – more than you can ever know, and I want to make sure we’re always there for each other to share life’s joys and sorrows. I count on my girls to gossip with . . . and giggle with . . . and shop for shoes and lipstick and purses with (because accessories don’t care how fat we’ve gotten!) . . . and share martini toasts with . . . and roll our eyes in unison about incorrigible significant others . . . and cry with over sappy, happy stuff . . . and pick each other up when we’re down in the dumps . . . and go on extravagant gastronomic adventures with . . . and be snarky and catty with (preferrably wearing the aforementioned fabulous shoes and drinking the martini) . . . and commiserate with about little darlings who clog toilets and splash pee on the baseboards . . . and share pie-in-the-sky dreams with . . . and reminisce with about important things like prom and Barry Manilow and first loves and pub crawls and epidurals . . . and have legendary bitchfests with . . . and share words of encouragement and advice with . . . and swap insipid pop trivia with . . . and support and listen like only women can.

In honor of my girls, and in memory of my beloved Mom, I have made a donation today to Komen. I hope you’ll do something generous this month – for yourself or for the benefit of other women – to support breast health.

Be vigilant, be courageous, be empowered.

With love,

Andrea


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