June 21, 2008

What color is arthritis?

While shopping this weekend, I found a wide assortment of pink-ribbon branded products, sold as fundraisers for breast cancer research.

You can get a pink-ribbon day planner, pink-barrelled pens, a pink-ribbon cookbook; I lost track, frankly, of them all.

The breast cancer foundation really has its fund-raising act together. Or maybe it's just that women like to buy pink things.

But what about those of us who have other medical conditions? Can a guy not buy a manly planner to raise funds for prostate cancer research?

Heart disease affects far more women than breast cancer, yet the heart association's "Go Red" campaign has a long way to go before it matches the power that is the breast-cancer-research fundraising juggernaut.

This despite the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans. Cancer—which is to say, all forms of cancer combined—is the No. 2 cause.

Meanwhile, although arthritis isn't a primary cause of mortality, 21 percent of American adults are living with it.

Let's compare shopping opportunities, shall we?

The American Heart Association's Go Red for Women site carries Red-branded clothes, jewelry, and household items.

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Promise Shop carries clothing, accessories, furniture, and a pink iPod Nano case.

At the Arthritis Foundation's store, you can get exercise videos, books, and free pamphlets. Whoo-hoo.

You see the problem. Other foundations need to tap into the same shopping gene that's done so well for the Komen group.

I mean, wouldn't it be great if all of us were able to fund research into the disease that most affects us just by buying pajamas?


  1. Yes.. it will be a better idea. Will provide fund raising through daily shopping.

  2. red for heart disease? really? i thought red was for aids research, especially in africa.

    i was a bit annoyed to learn my red ipod went to aids research in africa. what about here at home?!