Help Breast Cancer Research While Enjoying a Good Book

Pink-Ribbon-by-Amiel-WeisblumAs a breast cancer conqueror, I’m writing this post as Tanya Freedman, even though you may only know my alter ego, Gloria Silk.

Firstly, forget the commercialism of the pink ribbon. Unfortunately there will always be the good, the bad and the not so well-intentioned people and businesses. It should not stop those who are committed to help others.

Here is a short press release which is self-explanatory about my own commitment to help cancer research:

Many people in the Greater Toronto Area, in Ontario know Tanya Freedman as a multi-published author, artist, entrepreneur and mentor. But she’s also a survivor—not only of life’s many challenges—but conquering breast cancer, and giving back to the community. Maybe cancer has touched you, or someone close to you. Let’s join together to fight cancer in any way we can. Tanya Freedman is.

This month, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Tanya Freedman is donating all proceeds from her two multicultural novels, which she wrote under her pen name Gloria Silk.

You, too, can help without leaving home. Just read, gift, or spread the word about her powerful Destiny ebooks ($1.99 for First and Only Destiny and $2.99 for Second Destiny). All proceeds earned in October will go to the Canadian Cancer Society for whom Tanya is also a trained peer support volunteer.

Tanya is a committed cheerleader to all cancer research, with your help every little bit will make a difference to women and families in Canada. Buy Gloria’s books through Amazon

Why I am committed to helping in my own small way

For those who want to read more about my first journey with my breast cancer diagnosis, and its subsequent actions, please read: Suddenly Life is Precious. Since the time that essay was published I had a double mastectomy and other surgeries, reverting once again to being a healthy, happy mother, wife and friend, who appreciates the advent of all medical research in the past decades. Without the dogmatic dedication of so many people and organizations I may have lost my life years ago instead of enjoying life and watching my beautiful family thrive. And I wouldn’t be able to help others in my own small way, never mind, bringing my writing to the world.

But we still have a long way to go yet, to obliterate so many cancers. So many people believe breast cancer cases seem to have risen drastically over the past decades. I don’t think that’s correct. I think the truth of it is that all the medical advancement, with the help of research and generous donations and funds raised throughout the Western world, has facilitated our doctors and experts to preempt, take quick and positive action to get rid of the cancer, and ensure to the best of their capabilities to prevent its return. It’s important to see the way forward and build on that, and spread the word of proactive life: women (and men) should learn how to self-examine, and look after their health. If my mother hadn’t gone through breast cancer at the age of 56, I – or my ever-vigilant family doctor – wouldn’t have been as thorough and committed to having regular check ups. Life’s not perfect but we can do all we can to ensure a long and healthy life. It’s a cliche, I know, but cliches are tried and proven truths that can never be denied.

Why Canadian Cancer Society

Over the first and second struggles through conquering breast cancer, what helped me was the Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario), in so many ways. The peer volunteer group are an amazing bunch of people without whom I would have felt so alone and bereft. Even though, thankfully, I have a fantastic support system at home and in the community, so many people have no such luck. Now as a trained peer support volunteer I pay forward the much needed kindness and emotional guidance I received from the CCS angels. I listen and guide women diagnosed with breast cancer, who may be facing what I’d faced, across Canada by phone (only a few hours a month) and it reminds me to be grateful for all the medical breakthroughs, and accomplishments so far.

See me on the Daytime TV show in October 2010 – Click here. tanya daytime tv oct10

How We Can All Help

One of my very best girlfriends, Lisa, used to be a close neighbor whom I met just as she was finishing with her breast cancer treatments. Since then, in the past eight years we have bonded and grown so close. We helped each other stay positive by meeting for lunch when we could, watching funny romantic comedies and finding things to laugh about and appreciate, even when we were not having the best of days.

Right now another very close girlfriend is undergoing chemo and will go through other treatments which will undoubtedly give her a long and cancer-free life. What can I do to help, even in the smallest ways? And what can you and your loved ones do in the community? It doesn’t have to be a major life-changing act of kindness or generosity. I may post another blog with a list of small and great things we can all do, or have done and continue to do. In the meantime go to the Get Involved page on Canadian Cancer Society website, or even use good ol’ Google to see how you can help.

What are your thoughts and how have you been impacted by cancer? Share it with me, here or privately by emailing me. And how have any of you made a difference and what have you done in the past – or right now – to help? I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Reading and Stay Healthy and Positive!
P.S. Remember to help breast cancer research while enjoying a good book.

Gloria Silk



20 thoughts on “Help Breast Cancer Research While Enjoying a Good Book

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  5. First of all I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.

    I’ve had difficulty clearing my thoughts in getting
    my ideas out there. I do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15
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  6. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor. I read novels on my Kindle while taking chemotherapy. I would push the button to turn the page, and then stick my hand back in the ice bag. The doctor wanted the medicine to go to my torso, not my extremities so they kept my hands and feet on ice. I’m happy to say, like Tanya, I kept on writing and finally have Romancing the Gold, published by MuseItUp. To those of you reading this, keep getting mammograms and if you get cancer, be strong. You can overcome it. Carolyn Rae Williamson, writing as Carolyn Rae. P.S. I’m buying one of Tanya’s books.

  7. Tanya,
    I am so glad that you received the care that helped you survive and to become such a dear and positive influence in my life.
    I too have had my brush with cancer (diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in 2006).
    So far, so good!
    I know that many people think that this is a “lesser” cancer, however, no one hears the diagnosis of “cancer” without experiencing some degree of the terror than it can evoke.

    Thank you for all you do to help support those who need your caring, generous and positive soul and words.

    It is so like you to donate proceeds from your books!
    Commercial or not the pink ribbon does help jog some people into taking action and as you say “every little bit
    helps”, as we continue our combined efforts to stamp out
    this terrible disease.

    Thanks again Tanya and continued success in all you do!

    Yvonne Finn

  8. Thanks so much for this post. I too had a mastectomy which is now 9 years ago, and so I figure I’m one of the lucky ones. But that’s totally awesome of you to donate proceeds from sales for such a great cause. The pink ribbon can feel a it phony at times, but commercial as it’s become it has actually raised awareness, and hopefully saved some lives.

    1. Wow! AK, I had no idea, and to think we just connected on another site today, related to writing. Thanks for sharing and your positivity. Keep on writing and enjoying life, lovely to meet you.

  9. What a beautiful message, my dear friend Tanya!

    It’s true that the “pink ribbon campaign” has become commercialized, but if it raises awareness and funding for research and support, then we should graciously take the very good with the less good.

    With so much attention focused on breast cancer, however, the most lethal of all “women’s cancers,” ovarian cancer, has gotten lost in the shuffle.

    There are no external methods for detecting ovarian cancer–no reliable screening tests at all, in fact–so it’s much too often discovered too late.

    Few people know that ovarian cancer also can be linked to the BRC-A and BRC-B gene mutation that causes breast cancer.

    Few people even know about ovarian cancer until they, or a loved one, is diagnosed. Certainly, I didn’t, but I was very, very lucky that my cancer was caught early twenty years ago. The five-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is less than 30%.

    Research into all cancers is vitally important, but when we talk of “women’s cancers,” we need to include all of the cancers. Research into prevention, detection and cure for one type can lead to prevention, detection and cure for others.

    I’ll wear my pink ribbon in October to help raise awareness of breast cancer. I hope others will also join me in wearing a teal ribbon in September, which is ovarian cancer awareness month.

    1. Thank you so much, Kate, I’d hoped you’d pop in with a link for people to check out the other important cancers our world is affected by and the important strides of research. You done me proud by once again highlighting other as important, if not more important–depending on how we are personally impacted by the cancer horrors. I was honored to be your guest at last year’s fantastic fundraising event for Ovarian Cancer in Canada, which definitely made me more aware of this killer disease. I’m so grateful that you were one of the lucky women to survive this and be helping the cause. And of course I’m also grateful for having you as my friend: Without the research so far, it would have been quite a different story. (see: – and click on Get-involved)

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