Making A Difference® for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Many people call it “Go Pink for October”, supporting those affected by the breast cancer by wearing pink, donating money, getting involved to start or join a fundraising event, or volunteer to help educate women about breast cancer. Even though most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages as well as encourage others to do the same.

During this month, it is important to remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health, and to remember that it is never too late to start doing so. About 1 in 8 women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point during their lifetime. It is the most common kind of cancer in women after skin cancer. Fortunately, if the cancer is found and treated at an early stage, many women can survive. Mammograms are the easiest way and quickest way to detect breast cancer and can help find it early. Therefore it is important to encourage communities, families, organizations, and individuals to spread the word about mammograms, especially in women over 40. Nonprofits like A Silver Lining Foundation offer free mammograms for women who don’t have access to it.

Hopefully, greater knowledge about breast cancer will lead to earlier detection of it, leading to higher long term survival rates. Money raised for breast cancer awareness will produce a reliable cure, and wearing pink and getting involved in fundraising will provide emotional support for those who are battling breast cancer, as well as cherish the memories of those who lost the battle. Visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation website for more information on what you can do to help this month and for a variety of resources for breast cancer prevention.



Making A Difference® During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

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The purpose of Childhood Obesity Awareness Month is to raise awareness of the obesity epidemic that has swept our country.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one in three children in the U.S. is overweight or obese, a statistic that is hard to believe.  The potential health repercussions are serious, such as diabetes, heart disease, and early obesity can cause children to experience these adult afflictions in an untimely manner.

The aim of Childhood Obesity Month is to raise awareness about obesity in our country and then encourage people to take action and make changes that will result in healthier life styles.  Improved diet and increased exercise are important influences in this quest, but healthy habits are not always easy to adopt.

However, since obesity is a multi-faceted problem, there are many things you can do to start making a difference and help the children in your life take charge of their health early on.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Prepare a healthy snack or meal with a child.  Working together in the kitchen is fun and they will appreciate your time and attention.
  • Take a child to a water park, roller rink or on another entertaining, but active, outing.  They’ll have such a great time, they won’t realize it’s exercise (and neither will you!).
  • Girl Scouts has partnered with First Lady Obama’s “Let’s Move!” Initiative , which builds on the Girl Scouts’ tradition of more than a century of promoting healthy living.
  • Help an older child get their bike and helmet tuned up and ready to roll.  Biking to school can be faster and more enjoyable than walking or getting dropped off by parents.

These small things will add up to healthier routines and can get the children in your life up off the couch and in charge of their health.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ website has even more tips at: http://healthfinder.gov/nho/SeptemberToolkit.aspx

Making A Difference® for Healthier Children Everywhere During National Immunization Month

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Vaccinations continue to be a ‘hot’ topic in politics and even popular culture. Debate over the risks, side effects, and the number of compulsory vaccines given to children has put this public health issues on the forefront of the minds of parents and politicians alike.

August is National Immunization Month, and as children return to school, it is important to remember that immunization campaigns have helped eliminate some of the deadliest epidemics, as children born in the US do not have to worry about polio, Hepatitis, and rotavirus. And since the 1970s, investments in public health programs helped to eliminate smallpox from the globe.
Unfortunately, we seem to forget just how important immunization is for a healthy community, until we realize that worldwide many childhood diseases can be prevented.

Polio, which decimated a generation of American children in the middle of the 20th Century, is still a crippling disease in Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. While this is a preventable ailment, health structures in developing countries often are not able to provide the necessary sources to all. This makes it even more difficult to produce a successful, healthy and prosperous next generation.

Luckily, there are several national and international organizations dedicated to giving each person the ability to achieve the healthiest life possible. Since its founding in 1905 by Chicago’s Paul P. Harris, Rotary International has been committed to eliminating diseases and raising awareness for immunization campaigns across the country.

In addition, The UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Program is working to save children around the world from deadly but preventable diseases. By supporting these types of programs, you will be making A Difference® and working towards a healthier future for all!

Making A Difference® During National Water Quality Month!

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August is National Water Quality Month! While we enjoy the wonderful weather by rivers, lakes and oceans, it is important to consider how we can be Making A Difference® in the quality of our water.

There are many ways that you can make an impact on water quality. Some tactics start right at home! Water quality can be protected by limiting water use. Consider taking shorter showers and not over-watering your lawn. Conserving water limits the amount of water that we divert from our ecosystems. We should strive to achieve a healthy balance of water use!

Moreover, pollution is a huge problem with achieving a high level of water quality. You have plenty of ways to reduce your personal water pollution impact. Be cognizant of the items that you pour into the sink. Protect ground water by disposing of motor fluids and oil properly. Hence, we can reduce the amount of contamination to the aquatic ecosystem!

Unfortunately, poor drinking water quality can have negative health impacts, particularly in developing countries.  That is why organizations like www.charitywater.org and www.water.org are working tirelessly to make clean water a daily reality for all!

It is our responsibility to keep our water clean and fresh, both for our health and the health of the ecosystems around us. Celebrate National Water Quality Month by keeping our water quality high.

Happy National Water Quality Month!