ESTATE SALE (June 8&9) TO BENEFIT FOUNDATION Was a SUCCESS!UPDATE:

UPDATE:  Thanks to the hundreds of people who came to Becky's Estate Sale the past two days. Many thousands of dollars was raised for mammograms with the purchases of Becky's stuff. Her belongings went to many who will always honor her knowing where that couch, chair, dish set or pair of sunglasses came from. Thanks again and please get your mammogram!

On Friday/Saturday, June 8/9, Rick will be holding an Estate sale at his property, 8151 Center Grove Church Road in Clemmons (across the street from Center Grove Baptist Church.

"This is an estate sale, says Baker, not a garage sale. Please do not attend and start offering ridiculous and offensive prices for marked items." 

Many of Becky's possessions are one-of-a-kind items which include a Bear Leg pool table, furniture, antiques, such as an antique small ball pool table, a Stories for Children Capital Record Album Set and hundreds of other items rare to this area.

If you would like a private showing before June 8, please call Rick at 760-212-3839.

Update: Becky's Ashes Spread At Pebble Beach

I spread Becky's ashes, as per her request, on the original "Pebble Beach" near the iconic hole #18 at The Pebble Beach Golf Links.

I did this alone, even though a number of her friends were present at our retreat. I don't think Becky would have appreciated all the hoopla. She would, however, have loved the seagulls talking to each other, the sound of the waves crashing nearby and the reflection of the stars on the beautiful Pacific Ocean that lightly illuminated the three dolphins swimming nearby.

Over the past 12 months, having Becky's ashes with me have given comfort, even though I know they are just ashes, and she is sitting at the feet of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Still, it was hard and brought a certain closure. 

 

 

Overcoming The Guilt: "The Wide-Reaching Effects of The McStay Family Tragedy" (Part 2)

Becky had always said to me that she was excited we were going to "grow old together." 

That statement brought me so much peace. I could see us, both in our 80s or 90s, scooting along to our favorite coffee shop to read the Sunday New York Times (if still publishing) and talk about how blessed we both were.

That was just how our lives would end. In each other's arms, old in body but not heart or spirit. She so looked forward to that day.

It's my fault that day will never come, and in fact, came when she was just 58. 

As I look back, I now see that Becky knew she was sick four years before she passed away. She was afraid to address the lump and just hoped it would go away. The signs were there for me, but I was too wrapped up in other "important" stuff to see it.

I had written a book about a missing Southern California family, the McStays, that had begun to consume me (and therefore, Becky). It was a controversial book that took off in the online crime forums. Soon, I authored a blog that had many thousands of hits every week and hundreds of comments each month. I began to believe "my own press" that screamed how "important" I was to the case." I was an expert, who needed to be involved. The blog, the media interviews, and my ego soon began to take over. I spent many hours daily trying to find the family, traveled extensively in search of the Mcstays and ran down every lead I received. Becky seemed to enjoy the ride as well, but I now think that she just wanted me to be happy and fulfilled, and so she supported my meaningless efforts. A love I could have never deserved.

I said and wrote things about people I never should have. I had become toxic. I look back now and see a man I do not know. I will forever be disappointed that I ever wrote the book. Thankfully, it is no longer available for purchase. The time I wasted that could have been spent solely with Becky. I was so blind.

While Becky constantly encouraged me to continue to try and "solve the case," I now believe that the stress she endured as a result of my involvement with the case caused her breast cancer to accelerate. Stress is deadly for breast cancer, for any form of cancer.

Had I been as concerned about Becky and her happiness as I was about the McStay case, maybe she would be here today? I will never know, but I will never forget how my selfish behavior during that time may have kept me from seeing the early signs of cancer in her body.

What about you? Are you alert to what is going on in your loved one's body?

That said, I can narrow down to one fact the reason I am riddled with guilt over losing Becky: I didn't know anything about breast cancer.

To me, breast cancer was a pink ribbon on an NFL football each October.

Had I know then, what I know today about breast cancer, Becky would still be here. I would have recognized the signs and forced her to get a mammogram and checkup. Hence, the reason my foundation is giving away free mammograms, to help calm my guilt.

My foundation is soon to hold seminars in the US that will educate men on this terrible epidemic. My encouragement to all husbands, boyfriends, fathers and brothers is to become "an expert" on the terrible disease of breast cancer. You can self-educate by spending a few hours online.

Please don't do what I did with my Becky. Take the necessary time to understand breast cancer and to observe carefully your loved one who may be showing signs of the disease that you may be missing.

This is the only body we get and the only way to beat breast cancer is to not get it.

Can Breast Cancer Really Be "Prevented?"

I received this email yesterday. The writer makes some interesting points. Below, is the email, and my response. (To protect the author's privacy, I edited out names and other information that is personal.) Who is right? Or, are we both right?

Dear Rick,

Saw you yesterday at breakfast, and had hoped for a chance to speak with you, but as soon as it seemed you finished your conversation, you were gone.  When you spoke with me in February,  I did get up at my Church and tell everyone about your wonderful foundation. I am constantly amazed by people like you who take a tragedy in their lives and turn it into some serious good. Way to go! You are what elevates the human race.

In reading your brochure cover-to-cover, I wanted to discuss a few things with you that I think might help your efforts. 

My first job after graduating from college in 1984 was at the breast clinic at the college Hospital. Breast cancer has been on my radar in a serious way for at least 30 years, so I have a fair amount of knowledge about it. 

There are two things that I think should be adjusted in your brochure to make it more effective. 

I hope you don’t mind me pointing them out, I just want the best for your foundation.

The first is that mammograms do not actually prevent breast cancer. 

They are crucial in fighting breast cancer because they can result in early detection of breast cancer.

Which brings me to the second issue that I think needs clarification. 

Today, with early detection, breast cancer is a very treatable disease. Chemo and radiation can, in fact, cure a person if the cancer is caught early enough. That makes early detection, using tools like mammograms, so essential. And yes, I agree with your dear Becky that if I had a late stage cancer, I would not go the “slash and burn” route, but would live out my last days in the very best way possible. I have a friend who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer 1.5 years ago. Because of a 3-D mammogram, they caught it extremely early. And I know we can’t call her “cured” until we hit the five-year mark, but her prognosis is very good. She had surgery and radiation and is taking hormone inhibitors, and there are currently no signs of cancer in her body. 

I wish to God there were some way of preventing breast cancer, but so far, all attempts have come up lacking. But there is no question that early detection saves lives because when it’s caught early, it’s usually very treatable.

Wishing you all the best with your amazing work,  

Here is my response:

Hey J, thanks for your message!

Yes, I understand that mammograms do not “prevent” breast cancer and I have been careful not to state that. While they are not perfect, they are still the best detection, other than self-examination, I suppose.

It’s great that you have questioned my words in the brochure. I am in a family of doctors and we have had lively debates on this subject.

They told Becky she was “irresponsible” for not taking chemo, until she lived over three years longer than her doctor-siblings ever thought possible. Today, they have no explanation for how the happened and are now studying nutrition.

I have come to accept the scowls on the faces of oncologists when I talk ‘prevention through nutrition.’ Most know little about the subject and are only interested in “treating” breast cancer.

We may differ a bit on the word “prevention.”  While I know it is impossible to prevent it in some women, it is possible in others.

For example, studies have shown that excessive consumption of Diet Coke can cause breast cancer in some women. So, if these women do not drink Diet Coke, did they not “prevent” it in their bodies as a result? (They may get it some other way, but they did not as a result of drinking Diet Coke.) 

Conversely, if they heavily consumed Diet Coke, as Becky did, and they get breast cancer, could it not have been prevented had they never drank Diet Coke? Maybe.

It may be semantics, but I do believe that we can “prevent” it if we do not put into our bodies that which can cause it.

Much like lung cancer. The smoker gets lung cancer as a result, and yet had he never smoked, he would never had it. Granted, some get lung cancer without smoking, but is rare and the smoker’s odds are thousands of times greater. So, never smoke and “prevent” lung cancer?

Again, I think is semantics. 

I agree, let’s talk about early detection, (which is why I have given away so many Mammograms) but, let’s also talk about taking care of the body. Garbage in, garbage out, and maybe “preventable” breast cancer as a result.

Part of my mission is to encourage women to take care of their bodies by not drinking Diet Coke, or eating dangerous foods, etc, and yet still heavily monitoring their body for any warning signs.

I am also involved with seminars all over the country that teach men about the disease. Had I been an expert in breast cancer 5 years ago, I would have taken Becky for a checkup (because I would have known the warning signs) as she could not muster the courage to go on her own. And...there lies my guilt in not being able to save her.

Thanks again for your kind message and your passion as well.

Blessings!

Rick

WHO IS RIGHT?

Here's Why We Left Facebook

Ex-Facebook Executive: “You Don’t Realize It But You Are Being Programmed”

Several months ago, one of the early pioneers of Facebook and its first President Sean Parker, voiced his regret regarding helping create social media in the form we know it today, saying: “I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,”…”God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Parker says the social networking site exploits human psychological vulnerabilities through a validation feedback loop that gets people to constantly post to get even more likes and comments. “It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” he said. “The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”

Later on, another former Facebook executive opened up about the same concerns.

Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president of user growth at Facebook stated at a recent public discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

”The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” Palihapitiya said. “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

Palihapitiya then expressed the feeling of guilt, “I feel tremendous guilt. I think we all knew in the back of our minds — even though we feigned this whole line of, like, there probably aren’t any bad unintended consequences. I think in the back, deep, deep recesses of, we kind of knew something bad could happen. But I think the way we defined it was not like this.”

“So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion. It is eroding the core foundation of how people behave by and between each other. And I don’t have a good solution. My solution is I just don’t use these tools anymore. I haven’t for years.“

Concerning the issue of social media as a whole, Palihapitiya stated that he doesn’t use it anymore since he “innately didn’t want to get programmed.” And as for his kids, “they’re not allowed to use this shit.”

Then he goes on to express some really strong sentiments:

“Bad actors can now manipulate large swaths of people to do anything you want. It’s a bad, bad state of affairs. And we compound the problem. We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection, because we get rewarded in these short term signals: Hearts, likes, thumbs up. And we conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth, and instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that’s short term and that leaves you even more, and admit it, vacant and empty before you did it. Because it forces you into this vicious cycle about what’s the next thing I need to do, because I need it back. And think about that compounded by two billion people.”

“Everybody else has to soul-search a little bit more about what you’re willing to do,” he said. “Because your behaviors, you don’t realize it, but you are being programmed. It was unintentional, but now you gotta decide how much you’re willing to give up, how much of your intellectual independence.”

He finishes this up by warning the audience not to think they’re too smart to fall for the implications of social media, and stated that those who are best-and-brightest are the most likely to fall for it, “because you are fucking check-boxing your whole Goddamn life.”

Now this is some really strong stuff, especially coming straightforward from Frankenstein’s mouth

Access the article here:  https://medium.com/@mustaphahitani/ex-facebook-executive-you-dont-realize-it-but-you-are-being-programmed-618242134d

Foundation Leaves Facebook

The Becky Baker Foundation Facebook page has been deleted, effective, January 29.

Foundation Director, Rick Baker, has also permanently deleted his personal page, effective March 26.

"I don't think most Facebook members understand the inherent danger they face by posting the lives on FB. They may not believe it matters, but it does, believe me. I will not allow them to disrespect Becky any longer, so all pages have been permanently deleted," said Baker. 

Our recommendation? #deletefacebook and start again to build true relationships, not FB relationships. Because, all that matters in life is relationship. You are wasting precious time – time that you will never get back – when you post to all your superficial "friends" on FB. Delete it today, and begin to live again.

THE BECKY BAKER FOUNDATION GOLF TEAM WINS ITS OWN TOURNAMENT! 

THE BECKY BAKER FOUNDATION GOLF TEAM WINS ITS OWN TOURNAMENT! 

While no one was certain we would even play today with snow forecast to begin at noon, the weather held until just after everyone was off the course. I don't know if Becky had anything to do with that, but it was perfect timing. The event was presented by The Becky Baker Foundation – with all proceeds going to The Jimmy V Foundation – and her FDN team took home the first place trophy! The team is comprised of four local misfits; The honorable (and infamous) Dr. Scott Foster, Mark Lewbchow (who also won long drive for the event) Henry Muller, (who made the 20' putt for eagle that sealed our victory at the last) and yours truly. 

We were also honored to have WORLD LONG DRIVE CHAMPION Jeff (CRITTER) Crittenden display his mind-boggling skill by driving the green over and over again at the #6 376 yard par 4 at Reynolds Tanglewood. Thanks Jeff for taking time from your busy schedule to honor Becky and to let us see a World Champion up close and not just on TV.

A special thanks to Russ, his family, Kitty and all the volunteers who made this day one to remember! Becky will never be forgotten, thanks to these kind and gracious people.

#Race4Prevention Tour Daily Running Update

3/13: How Did They Get That Way?

Durango's homeless population has soared in recent years. By many estimates, this little mountain haven of 17,000 has over 1,000 homeless. They are hard to miss, especially downtown on Historic Main Avenue, you know, the road Butch Cassidy used to hang out on. (Don't tell me you have never heard of BC).

I had a lunch meeting yesterday with a dear friend, Paul Dutcher. As I was parallel parking on Main, I was greeted by three homeless people. Two men and a woman. The woman had scratches on her face, a black eye and a look of lostness in her eyes. The men wore scruffy, graying beards with many years of neglect written all over their faces.

They immediately approached me and asked what kind of car I had just parked. I knew they were trying to work the conversation into asking for money. So, I preempted their strategy by telling the woman that I had a gift for her. Her eyes lit up. "What do you have?" she said.

I opened the trunk and grabbed a Becky Baker Foundation brochure as well as a few pink pens. As I handed her the items, I told her about Becky and how she would still be here today had she  gone for her checkup. I asked the homeless lady when the last time was she had been checked, and offered her a free mammogram. She began to cry.

She told me that her mom had passed from breast cancer years ago and that she was not there to say goodbye. Unknowingly, by just handing her a brochure, I had reopened a flood of memories that gushed out in the form of tears.

At this point, the two men standing on either side of her didn't know what to do. I could tell they were very uncomfortable with their friend's tears and were trying to re-strategize asking me for money.

So, I preempted them again. I handed them each an equal amount of cash and asked them if they would watch over the car while I was at lunch. You know, keep the finger prints from lookers off.

"For this money, we will stay here and watch your car all day!" they said. I know, what else do they have to do, right?

Everyone has a story. They now know Becky's Story, but they have one too. How did they get that way? What happened in their past to make this their present? What is their future?

When I returned from lunch, the three were sitting right where I had left them and they assured me the car was "untouched." They stood up and we all hugged. Must have been a sight to see the four of us in a long embrace on Main. The lady promised she would get her mammogram, as if to honor her mother. The men thanked me again for the money. We all got what we wanted. A true Win-Win.

We must never forget how blessed we all are. If you want to start to complain about something in your life today, remember these three. It could always be worse.

3/12: To Each Their Own

I used to love Durango. Becky loved Durango. She used to shop here often, when Pagosa Springs was all mom and pop shops. Back in the day, before Walmart and the other evil corporations took over, the town was famous for being a favorite hangout for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid. Today, all the mom and pops are gone, replaced by $$$$$ restaurants and art galleries and I fear that most of the people here can't tell you who Butch and Sundance were. (and no, they are not a film festival) 

Durango will always hold a very special place in my heart mainly because two of my kids are here along with a very special person. But, I just don't like what it has become and I know that Becky would not. 

With the corporate takeover of this small Southwestern Colorado town, has come and unintended consequence: Rudeness. I have walked Main St. many times in the past 3 days. When I pass someone and smile (remember that is my resolution) trying to get them to smile back, most of the time they won't even make eye contact. If I force the issue, I am often looked at as someone who is invading their privacy. On the drive out west from NC, I listened to the book "Undead Ultra," by Camille Picott. Using my Audible iPhone app, the narration (by Gwendolyn Druyor) took 11 and 53 minutes. It was a good book, and I swear that some, no many, of the "Undead" zombies in the book have relocated to Durango.

But, there is more than just the cold corporate nature that lives here now. There is a whole new generation of young people who don't know how to work, don't want to work, and expect so much to just be given to them. While any political policy that is extreme, left or right, is dangerous, the left's control here has forever damaged this once-great small town, just as an extreme right policy would have.

Now filled with massive numbers of homeless, and quite a few panhandlers, Durango is, well, no longer "Durango."

I don't know, maybe it's just me? Maybe I am the one out-of-touch. It is not my job to get anyone to smile. I should just leave well enough alone and mind my own business. Maybe this is just the way it is here now. Guess I have been spoiled by the wonderful and happy people who live in NC. Just saying...

3/11: Hurting People

Left Winston-Salem, NC on Tuesday, drove to Scottsdale, AZ. Now in Durango, CO, then up to Fort Collins, CO, on to Santa Rosa, CA, then to Pebble Beach, CA. 

One truth I have painfully realized in just this short time on the road for the #Race4Prevention Tour is: So many people are hurting.

It seems that I cannot talk to anyone anymore who is not affected by cancer. This morning, a young couple stopped at the red Datsun while I was there. I gave them a Becky Baker Foundation brochure, and some pens. When we began to talk, I learned that the young man's father has stage IV cancer and is now in hospice. Brings back sad memories for me as well.

No one ever comes back from cancer. They may believe they are now "cancer free," but will spend every waking morning wondering if that is the day the cancer returns. They will fight it the rest of their lives.

The only way to beat cancer is to not get cancer.

Please do everything in your power to protect and take care of your body. It is the only one you get, and if it gets sick, all bets are off.

3/10: Roads

Our Interstates are a mess. No, let me rephrase: They suck. I have driven close to 3,000 miles in the past 6 days, and rarely have the highways been drivable. Interstate 40 is the worst, with I17 in AZ a close second.  These roads are disintegrating at a rapid pace. Chunks of concrete on major city bridges, pot holes the size of small Volkswagens along the pavement. Is a nightmare that won't be fixed any time soon. Can no longer just drive on autopilot, less the little red Datsun gets swallowed up.

Watch World Long Drive Champ Jeff "Critter" Crittenden Pound Balls at Charity Golf Tourney!

March 24 is coming fast! Sign up now for The Becky Baker Foundation Presents Charity Golf Tourney (Formerly the Applebee's Charity Event) at Tanglewood. Jeff will be CRUSHING pink balls on hle #6 at Tanglewood, sending them 380 yards onto the green! If you cannot play in the event, make sure you pull over on IDOLS road from 8:30-12:30 on the 24th to watch Jeff Crittenden swing! The #6 tee box is right there! Not every day you can see a World Champion up close!

 

Final Leg of #Race4Prevention Tour is March 6-24

The final leg of the Tour will commence on March 6th. Rick will drive the GTR from Winston-Salem, NC, to Monterey, CA., to play in the Joni and Friends Golf Tourney at The Pebble Beach Golf Links. Then, it's up to Canada, and back across the country, returning to NC on March 24 in time to play in the Becky Baker Foundation Charity Event at Tanglewood Golf Club in Clemmons, NC. Rick will post pics of the #Race4Prevention Tour on this site and on the Instagram page HERE.

Becky Baker Foundation Charity Golf Tourney Approaching!

The Becky Baker Foundation Presents the Clemmons Applebee's Annual Golf Tournament at Tanglewood Park Golf Resort on Saturday, March 24.

This event will raise money for The Jimmy V Foundation and The Becky Baker Foundation is honored to be able to be the main sponsor.

You've seen the trophy, so sign up today!

Call Derek at the Clemmons Applebee's to get signed up or for more info. (336) 413-7417.

 

Overcoming The GUILT: "I Should Have Known My Wife Was Sick!" (Part 1)

I am coming up on one year now since Becky passed away.

In the past ten months – with the help of Becky's mom – I have gone into all the closets and neatly folded all her clothes. I have packed them into boxes, over 100. My wife loved her clothes. Many encouraged me to have an estate sale because Becky's "things" where so valuable and one-of-a-kind. I rejected this idea because I didn't want to disrespect my wife. I knew she wouldn't have wanted bargain seekers pawing through her earthly possession, who at every turn are trying to get a better deal. 

So, I gave all her earthly possessions to the Salvation Army. They promised me that .97 of every dollar sold would go to the Women's Shelter, and it did. Over $62,000 went to these abused and battered women who are trying to start over.

Becky's "boxes" that she kept in our 3-car garage were a different animal. Over 150 neatly packed and similar-sized boxes filled two garage stalls from floor to ceiling. I had never approached those boxes and was not sure what was in them.

So, a couple of months after Becky "left," I went to the garage, set up a table, and opened the first box. I did this for over a month until the last box, number 159, was emptied or repacked.

These boxes held many secrets that Becky had kept locked away for many years.

I knew that Becky's first husband, Bob Gisburne, who was killed in his airplane along with Becky's father, Charles Tegeler, was her first love. I knew this when Becky and I were married in 2009 and I supported this. Each April 3rd, on Becky and Bob's Anniversary, I gave her an Anniversary card. I talked about Bob often, and how she would see him again one day. (I just had no idea that day would come so soon.) He was her first love, and I was honored to be her second.

In those mysterious boxes, I found Bob's entire wardrobe and hundreds of pictures of the two of them in their early days. It was then that I learned Becky's first secret: Becky could not move on from that terrible tragedy and had kept all of Bob's "things" neatly packed away for the past 14 years. 

The pictures showed me how the light in her eyes had changed after Bob and her dad had died so suddenly.

Her infectious smile and bright, joyful countenance had also changed. I looked carefully at all the pictures prior to Bob's death, and those following the accident, even before we had met. She looked different. She looked broken. Then, I looked at all our pictures together. All our wonderful times together as husband and wife. She was my best friend, and I was hers. But, it was not the same for her, and that's ok. How could it be?

Oh, she still smiled and still loved life, especially all the animals in her life, but she was not the same Becky as before the accident.

I had never seen any of those pictures and I wish I had while Becky was still here. Because, I would have then known the extent of her pain and could have tried to meet those hidden needs. She never fully recovered from losing her husband and father in September of 2003. Again, how could she?

Our relationship was, for me, true Heaven-on-earth. I have never been loved by anyone the way Becky loved me. I could have never deserved her love. I am not worthy.

I know she was happy our relationship. I know this from talking to her friends and family members. She was as happy as possible, given how badly she was broken in 2003.

My only goal in our marriage was to bring total joy to her and her life, knowing what she had already been through. I'm old-fashioned I guess, in that I believed I was here to protect her.

But, I failed.

Continued tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Becky Baker Foundation Gifts $10,000 To Forsyth Breast Center, Already Saving Lives!

The Center is using the $10,000 grant for mammograms for ladies who have no insurance. It is being used for screenings, diagnostics, up to a biopsy.

"I hate to turn any lady away. What if she is the one with a breast cancer?" said Hazel Talton Willis, Community Outreach Specialist with Novant Health Breast Center. 

Ms. Willis will keep the Foundation updated on the use of the grant and we look forward to hearing how it is helping prevent breast cancer.

'If that money saves one life, it was well worth it," said Rick Baker, director of the Foundation. "Becky is smiling, I just know it."

The Husband’s Guide To Support Spouse With Breast Cancer

When breast cancer strikes our loved one, it is not just an individual affair. It becomes a family journey. Husbands may find themselves in the difficult position of supporting their life partner while managing their own distress. While there are no definite rules on how one can best support their spouse, in my work as a medical social worker, I have found there are several commonalities for more successful coping. Here are some tips on how you can support your loved one and yourself through these trying times.

Continue reading...

No Quick Fix For Healthy Eating

There is no quick fix that will make you healthy. You can’t take a magic pill to achieve health. You can’t pay someone to do it for you. You can’t wish your way to being healthy either. Being healthy is a lifestyle. It is a process of making choices that affect your body, mind and soul in a positive way.

While you may think that is a bit harsh and it sounds all but impossible to do, you really just have to take one step; the first one. Make the decision that you’re going to choose health!

It doesn’t have to be a complete change of your current lifestyle all at once. Start with something small, like taking a few minutes, even 15-20, to do something you find relaxing. It can be walking in the park, reading a book, listening to music, playing with your dog, planting some flowers, or just sitting quietly doing nothing. It’s just a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle of your busy life. A time to decompress and let yourself just “be.”

You may think you don’t have time for such nonsense, but you will find that even a mini-break like this will refresh you and allow you to deal more easily with the normal craziness of your life.

Welcome to the LAFF path to a healthier you! A simple start – with more easy changes ahead.

(Note: This entry is from Becky's Blog. She authored this piece after she was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer.)

The BIG Business of Breast Cancer – It's All About The Money!

Did The Susan G. Komen Foundation Contribute To My Wife's Death?

By Rick Baker, Director, The Becky Baker Foundation

Did I get your attention? I hope I did. To answer my question, I think they did, yes. Now, please understand that my wife knew something was wrong six months before she was forced to undergo scans and was then diagnosed with stage IV, metastatic ER+ breast cancer. Had she gone to the doctor six months earlier, she would most likely be here today. So, she bears the responsibility for getting breast cancer and not taking care of it when she first noticed something was amiss with self-examination. Why didn't she go? She was afraid, because there is no cure. And whose fault is that? Well, Susan G. KOMEN bears some responsibility for not yet finding the cure to becky's cancer that they claim is their mission.

Do I sound angry? Well, I guess I am. Because, if the SGK organization had spent more than 15% of the $260+ billion dollars they have received over the past 25 years on really searching for a cure, instead of trying to maintain the status quo, my wife might be alive today.

It's all a mess. What was once a noble cause, "Breast Cancer Research," has become nothing more than Pinkwashing.

This term was coined by Breast Cancer Action, a nonprofit organization known as “the watchdog of the breast cancer industry.” According to BCA, the term is defined as: "When a company, such as Susan G. Komen, claims to care about breast cancer by promoting pink ribbon products, while at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease. Pinkwashing is when “cause marketing” loses sight of “the cause” and is more about the bottom line – profits."

Some examples of pinkwashing are:

• Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Buckets for the Cure” campaign. For every pink bucket of fried chicken sold, KFC donated 50 cents to Komen. What is wrong with this picture? Well, fast food – and especially fried food – are a well-known cause of many diseases, including cancer. So, we have to wonder who at Komen approved this joint venture and whose interest do they really have in mind?

• Remember the perfume that Women created  called “Promise Me”? It contained unsafe chemicals that were deemed toxic and hazardous with negative health effects. The ingredients included galaxolide, an endocrine disruptor, touluene, a possible carcinogen and toxic to the liver, and coumarin, which is toxic to the liver and kidneys and used to kill rodents. 

• In 2012, Komen actually partnered with the Coca Cola Company to promote FUZE tea. Yep, Coca Cola. The same maker of Diet Coke, that toxic soda that creates breast cancer in many women. But, what about FUZE tea? Well, with 31 grams of sugar, high fructose corn syrup (genetically modified), sucralose, and preservatives, is this a beverage that should be promoted alongside claims to be researching for “the cure” for breast cancer?

• In 2013, Yoplait (the yogurt company) held a campaign called “Save Lids to Save Lives.” They donated 10 cents per lid with a special code which consumers could redeem. Yet hormone-laden dairy, sugar, and artificial chemicals have all been linked to cancer.

There you have it, Pinkwashing! Last year, the Better Business Bureau issued a warning to consumers about misleading or vague claims made on the packaging of pink-ribbon-festooned products. "Simply because a company puts a pink ribbon on its package doesn't always mean a good breast cancer charity is benefiting from your purchase," noted Michelle L. Corey, a BBB exec.

Some $6 billion a year is committed to breast cancer research and awareness campaigns. Is it any wonder that the disease has become a gold mine for pink profiteers and old-fashioned hucksters?

Mega breast cancer organizations like Susan G. Komen have proven, time and time again, that they are not concerned with preventing breast cancer. Only raising money by promoting it.

Nowhere on the SGK website is there any mention of eating healthy foods, getting proper levels of cancer-preventing Vitamin D, or other factors such as breastfeeding. These are scientifically proven ways to prevent cancer.

Please explain to me how any organization, especially the mega SGK, one that claims to be focused on preventing and even curing breast cancer, can go to bed with companies that sell highly-processed, artificial food, hormone-filled dairy products, and sugar/chemical-laden food? All of these products are known to cause cancer. How is SGK contributing to a cure? Are they not only creating more customers for the cancer industry?

Does this shock you? Consider their 2016 spending, based on $360 million in contributions:

37% education

18% research

15% screening

7% treatment

12% fundraising

11% admin

Less than .20 cents of every dollar you give to them goes to finding a cure, and maybe .15 cents goes toward prevention, although they are not real transparent in that area.

Here's a cool thing to do: The next time you talk to a KOMEN staff member, ask them what their annual salary is and where the money comes from. You will not get an answer.

So, what have we learned so far? We have learned that the industry's largest breast cancer organization is not really interested in finding a cure for breast cancer, or trying to prevent it. If breast cancer suddenly vanished because everyone was preventing it, SGK would lose over $300 million per year in contributions. Their CEO would lose close to one million dollars in annual compensation.

We need to change the national conversation from research to PREVENTION. We need to stop giving to SGK and start giving to organizations that are committed to prevention.

One such organization is Play For Pink. From their website: "We turn play into serious support. To speed advances in breast cancer detection, treatment and survivorship, Play for P.I.N.K. (Prevention, Immediate diagnosis, New technology, Knowledge) supports thousands of volunteers nationwide as they raise funds for research through sporting and lifestyle events. Their efforts raise $4.8 million annually — and 100% of that goes to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation." By the way, the BCRF is the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the U.S., with an A+ rating from Charity Watch and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

As long as dubious organizations such as SGK are in charge, there will never be a cure for breast cancer and the idea of actually preventing it will never see the light of day. RB

PS: If you want more, read this article from marie claire.com. If you're not already upset, you will be by the time you are finished reading this. RB

My Doctor Friend Thinks I Am Crazy To State We Can 'Prevent Breast Cancer' Am I?

Ok, a doctor I know who majored in Oncology, has implied that I am "crazy" for stating that we "can prevent breast cancer."

She thinks that breast cancer cannot be prevented, only "early detected." I think we are both right and I'll explain.

A disclaimer here: I am not a doctor. I have only researched this evil disease for the past four years, spending thousands of hours trying to arm myself with all the known facts about breast cancer in the futile attempt to save my wife. My friend is a doctor and has majored in Oncology.

With that said, the Becky Baker Foundation is giving away free mammograms to those who cannot afford one. So far, we have had six ladies (who have had the mammogram) that were found to have very early stages of breast cancer. 

If they had not gone in for their mammogram, they most likely faced a shortened life by the disease, if not an early horrific death. Now, my doctor friend would say, "See Rick, they had breast cancer! It was not prevented as you claim, because it cannot be prevented!"

Yes, these ladies did have "breast cancer," but any further development of the disease was "prevented" because it was detected before they reached the point of no return.

So, aren't we are both right?

Here are two facts: 

1) About 12 percent of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives (Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2011).

I believe that this number can be reduced dramatically if all women devoted their lives to taking care of their bodies. Using Becky's LAFF2LIVE process that gave her an additional 3+ years of quality life, as just one example. Lifestyle, Attitude, Food and Faith. If all women committed to these four pillars, they would greatly reduce their risk and that 12 percent number would drop. Too many people (not just women) use their stomachs as nothing more than trash cans and then wonder why they get sick and die. Have you stuck your head down inside your trash can lately and taken a deep breath? Yeah, didn't think so.

2) According to the most recent estimates, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation, will develop breast cancer by age 70 years (AChen S, Parmigiani G. Meta-analysis of BRCA1 and BRCA2 penetrance).

Many experts recommend a double mastectomy (like Angelina Jolie) if you have either BRCA1 or BRCA2. Even though many with these genes will never develop breast cancer, the double mastectomy will greatly reduce any risk of breast cancer in your body, according to the experts.

So, if a woman is screened for these genes, is confirmed to have either 1 or 2, and has the double mastectomy, hasn't she "prevented" the likelihood of breast cancer in her body? Yes, she has.

But, remember, most breast cancers are not hereditary, and can, by definition, be "prevented." A combination of factors likely causes breast cancer, with diet being one of the largest contributors to the disease. More on this later.

So, I think we may both be right. Breast cancer can be prevented, by early detection and a lifestyle that prevents it. Because, the only way to really beat breast cancer is to prevent it. (rb)

 

 

Retired Colonel Tells HIS Story of Beating Breast Cancer!

(Yes, men get breast cancer too!)

After serving 33 years in the military, including three tours in VietNam, I thought I had been through it all. But, when I was told I had breast cancer in June of 2012, you could have knocked me over with a feather!

I immediately went into denial. 'What do you mean cancer! Not me! I’m a hard nosed retired Full Bird Colonel! This kind of stuff doesn’t happen to us!' Well quess what guys – it does!

My discovery was rather innocent. Showering one evening, I discovered a BB sized nodule about an inch above my left nipple and slightly under the skin. Having dealt with swollen glands during the past, I wasn’t overly concerned. First mistake!

The BB didn’t grow in size, or so I thought. I had mentioned it to my wife and she immediately began berating me about having it checked. It had now been about two months. I told her my annual physical was coming up and I would have my doctor check it.

Ok, I go to my doctor's appointment, and do you think I remember to have him look at it? Nope. When I get home my wife immediately asks about this spot. Now I'm in deep crap!

She insists, fortunately for me, that I call him NOW! This is where things get crazy. My doctor instructs me to get my a** back to his office where he did a quick evaluation. He then called the imaging clinic and requested an emergency mammogram and sonogram. This led to a needle biopsy that afternoon, an appointment with a surgeon the next day and surgery the following day.

I had a full mastectomy on the left side with removal of eight lymph glands under that arm.

I consider myself very fortunate in that all my margins were clean and I wasn’t required to deal with chemo or radiation treatments. (BTW – the reason I never felt that BB growing was because it was a tendril and not a mass.It was growing inward. It was within two weeks of penetrating into body areas that would have caused some very serious issues.)

So, this past June was a five-year anniversary. I was able to stop taking the Tamoxefin I was prescribed and get back to life as somewhat normal.

What’s my takeaway from all this? Men can be real stupid when it comes to their personal healthcare. Don’t be a dumb A**. If you feel something out of the ordinary around your breasts have it checked immediately!

I know it was only by the Grace of God that my family and I were able to get through this very stressful time in our lives.

Colonel Roy S. Adams,

(Navy six years, Army 27 yrs. Retired from Army)