As I mentioned in my last post, I became a 20-year breast cancer survivor on September 17, 2012. Jeanne Blaylock had just started the Buddy Check 12 program in Jacksonville in 1992. It has spread to all states in the nation and to other countries worldwide. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We are celebrating in our city by having a symposium on breast cancer on October 6 and our guest speaker is the Olympic Gold medalist ice skater Peggy Fleming. Afterwards, we are going to have a flash mob on the Main Street Bridge and dance the “Ta Ta Cha Cha.” The dance was choreographed by a husband and wife who are both breast cancer survivors. Yes, men, it can happen to you too!
When Al and I were in the Galapagos Islands we learned about boobie birds, an endangered species endemic to those islands. Well, of course, we bought t-shirts with blue-footed boobie birds on them for souvenirs. We are planning to wear them to the symposium with a placard saying "Galapagos Islands preserves boobies! So does Buddy Check 12!” Just another creative way of saying "Save the TaTas!" It’s too bad they don’t have pink-footed boobies. We will have to wear pink boas or scarves with our boobie shirts. I’m sure Al will look just as good in a pink boa as he did in a kilt! Ha Ha!If you live in or near Jacksonville, Florida, come and join us!
I wrote a poem for the occasion and entitled it “The Gem”. It was inspired by Jeanne’s imagery of Buddy Check being a 100 karat gem that you hold in your hands to save your life. I thought it was a particularly appropriate image because we use our hands to check our breasts. My daughter Dorothy and I designed some graphic illustrations for it. I took a picture of her holding a large pink gem in her hands. For the background she used a picture of the big pink gem with a pink ribbon of faith superimposed on it! She found a font on the Internet that has hearts in it, to represent the friendship symbol of Buddy Check 12. Here’s the Poem.
By Bobby Cherry
Everyone is precious; life is such a gem.
What can protect us from danger within?
A cancer may lay hiding; and it wants to grow.
It’ll try to consume your body, mind, and soul.
But you have a weapon, your own two hands.
That’s all it takes to understand
The power of the gem. In its depth now delve.
You can save yourself with Buddy Check Twelve.
You have the means and it only takes two!
All you need is a caring friend and you
To remind each other on the twelfth day of the month
To do your breast self-exam; It doesn’t take too much
Of your time and trouble; it’s your own life you save.
You’ll reap long life and joy from the cradle to the grave.
Yes, life is a precious gem, mounted in solid gold!
And every day of every life brings wonders to behold!
Pictures show the picture of hands holding the gem; the background picture used for the poem; and the final product , the poem itself with illustrations. Then there are mine and Al’s boobie t-shirts from the Galapagos.