You may have seen many people on your Facebook posting red hearts in support of breast cancer awareness this week. One woman, however, questioned why a red heart was being used–and if it could really make a difference. This is why Erin Smith Chieze posted a photo of a cart of lemons on Facebook.
So, why the lemons? Each lemon shows a different way that breast cancer can look and feel, which is why it went viral–because it’s actually informative advice for women that could save lives. Erin explained why the lemons are important:
“In December of 2015 when I saw an indentation that looked like one of those pictures, I instantly knew I had breast cancer. I tried to feel for a tumor, but my tumor was non palpable. I was diagnosed with breast cancer 5 days later and with stage 4 the following month. A heart did nothing for awareness. I knew what breast cancer was. I knew all about self exams, but a picture of what to look for keyed me into knowing I had a terminal disease.
We need to give REAL information, not cute hearts. Without having seen a picture randomly with real information, I wouldn’t have known what to look for. Do us a favor, stop playing games with my life and start truly helping people. Metastatic breast cancer treatment research and real awareness.”
The image is part of the Know Your Lemons campaign started by the Worldwide Breast Cancer organization. I agree with Erin that sharing photos like these are much more helpful than just posting a heart emoji–solidarity is great, but so is fostering education and information that can save lives–as she aptly, wrote herself:
“PLEASE, stop playing games that do not actually promote awareness, they often cause people to tune out anything that might even mention the word awareness. So if you truly want to help people WITH cancer, or those who will GET cancer, share photos like this one.”
Find out more information about the Know Your Lemons campaign here.