Breast Cancer Awareness

(Originally posted: October 31, 2014)

BC bear.jpg

BRONX, NY- My mother gifted me the teddy bear pictured above when I was about seven years old. At the time, I didn’t know what the symbol on its chest meant, nor did I ask. All I cared about was playing with this bear. Now 16 years later, this bear belongs to my little sister. We know what the symbol means, and it is impacting us so much. Mom received the bear as a gift for donating to breast cancer research. On October 24, 2014, mom received the news that she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer.

Ironic isn’t it? And October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

My family and I have dealt with loved ones that had battled leukemia and stomach cancer, but this is the first time someone close to me has had breast cancer. Of course the main question that crossed my mind was “why mom?” My mother has gone through three strokes that have left her partially paralyzed, a few heart procedures, some surgeries, and now she has to battle cancer. It’s in the early stages and she has a good chance of surviving it, but there is always the constant fear of losing her as well.

The day after mom told me her diagnosis, my friend Sasha shared a link on breast cancer awareness. An artist by the username of Halfy ( created awareness with the help of female superheroes. Wonder Woman, She Hulk, Storm, and Catwoman are doing self examinations. Main point; even superheroes are vulnerable. No one is immune to cancer.

This is an amazing campaign to raise awareness for breast cancer. Let’s be honest, the ads on the subway are boring and most people don’t look at them or take the messages seriously. Art like this will catch a lot of attention and raise awareness with not just breast cancer, but many other health issues. These powerful women are checking themselves. My mom checked herself and although there were no physical signs of cancer, the mammogram detected the problem.

I will soon pay a visit to my doctor and see what are my chances of developing breast cancer. It’s important for women to check themselves monthly. For the men who are reading this, remember that breast cancer is not just “a woman problem”. This cancer can affect your wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, best friend, all the important females in your life. There have even be rare cases where men develop it too.  So let’s raise awareness, support the research, and encourage those who have been affected by breast cancer that they are not alone in this fight. My mother has a long fight ahead of her, but she is not going to give up.

To me more artwork from Halfy, click on the link:

Photos: Rosa Elena Burgos and Halfy from

Note: My mother has been five years cancer free!

Last Updated: July 14, 2019