If you want to help people with breast cancer, ‘share photos like this one’
“Know your lemons.”
It’s a message that Facebook user Erin Smith Chieze circulated on Tuesday, in response to a breast cancer campaign that she said doesn’t go far enough to educate people about the disease.
The campaign saw people post pictures of hearts to promote breast cancer awareness, like the Facebook status below.
Chieze had a different idea, in a Facebook post that would be shared over 25,000 times as of Thursday night.
A picture of lemons.
In the post, Chieze recounted that she once saw a picture on Facebook that showed her what breast cancer could really looked like.
Then, in December 2015, she found an indentation in her breast that “looked like one of those pictures.”
She was diagnosed with the illness five days later. She would learn the following month that the cancer had reached stage 4, in which it spreads to other parts of the body.
With the post, she included a picture that showed 12 lemons in a crate. Each one had distinctive features that helped to illustrate breast cancer symptoms, such as indentation, dimpling, bumps and new fluid.
She founded the Worldwide Breast Cancer charity, which promotes awareness of the disease by using “clever, thoughtfully designed materials to improve early detection.”
#KnowYourLemons aimed to show breast cancer symptoms in a way that appeals to a diverse audience — a tactic that is “critical in saving lives,” the charity wrote in a Facebook note.
“With lemons as a friendly stand-in for the breast, it makes it easy to show symptoms without being censored,” the note added.
And Chieze, for one, feels images like these are more effective than heart emojis.
“If you want to truly help people WITH cancer, or those who will GET cancer, share photos like this one,” she said.
Watch below: Some say a popular video on Facebook is a great way to raise awareness because there’s more to breast cancer than lumps. Su-Ling Goh reports.
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