Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm voting Pro-life - How about you?

Its that time of year again - election time. In our times there are so many issues that are important. However, no other rights or issues would exist if we did not have the right to life. When it is argued that a woman has the right to her own body, a friend of mine asks, when does that right to her body begin? After all, aren't 1/2 of the aborted babies (logically if not factually) female? Therefore, when I cast my ballot, I ALWAYS chose the most pro-life candidate regardless of office, party, age, gender, or other issues. If both candidates are pro-life, I judge according to their other beliefs on issues near to my heart. If neither candidate is pro-life, I may abstain from voting, write my own candidate in, or cast my ballot for the one that will do the least harm. However, my preference is to vote for a candidate who is unabashedly pro-life in word, deed, and history. I also have a pretty stringent ideal for my pro-life candidates. Not only should they be against abortion; they should also support a ban on embryonic stem cell research (research that has not yet yielded positive results especially when compared to adult stem cell research & therapy). My candidates should also support programs designed to further our respect for all human life at conception, during illness, close to death, handicapped, etc. My candidates are also hopefully proponents for abstinence education and not push birth control on our youngsters. These requirements may sound idealistic, but IMO we should EXPECT more out of our candidates than the lies and increased expenses. They are supposed to be our representatives, but how can they represent us if they don't support what we support?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Breast cancer awareness & Life alerts

Its that time of year again. The time when you can't go anywhere or do anything without running into pink this or that marked with a pink ribbon. While I appreciate the sentiment as a 5th generation breast cancer survivor, it really irks me that some of the most prominent organizations that support breast cancer research are hand-in-hand with the nation (world's?) leader in abortion services. In 2009, the Susan G Komen foundation gave $7.5 MILLION dollars to Planned Parenthood. However, in 2008 (another banner year of donations for SGK going to PP) breast cancer services (mammograms & other screenings) went down 4% while abortion rates INCREASED by 6%. That is NOT what most supporters of SGK intend, at least not among those I have befriended. As a matter of fact, I know some women who are very active in their local SGK & have said that their local SGK does *not* fund PP. However, there is a slippery slope there... The local SGK chapters send money to the national SGK. The *national* SGK is the one funding PP - not necessarily the local chapters. So in essence, any support of *any* SGK chapter is supporting PP. There is also growing evidence that even abortion supporters cannot deny that abortions INCREASE a woman's chance of breast cancer. So, riddle me this... Why is SGK giving money to the biggest provider of abortions (PP) - especially in light of the troubling statistics from 2008, the troubling research coming to light about the link between breast cancer & abortions, and in the face of PP receiving MILLIONS from the government?

As a 5th generation breast cancer survivor, a mother, a woman, and a pro-life Catholic (isn't it sad that I have to differentiate on that issue with other Catholics?), SGK's association with PP deeply troubles me. Through my research I've found that other seemingly innocent organizations supposedly trying to eliminate breast cancer (or any cancer) also donate tremendous amounts of money to PP. Some organizations are open about it (SGK is), but many others deny all claims. For instance, although the American Cancer Society claims to not donate money to or refer patients to PP, if you search their website and/or browse PP's financial records (records they don't release in a timely fashion), you'll see that women are subtly directed to PP from ACS. At the very least, ACS has not kept up with the current research since on their page about breast cancer during pregnancy, they further the idea that termination *may* increase survival. Actually, research has shown the opposite. Women who are pregnant during their chemotherapy have BETTER outcomes and fewer side-effects from chemotherapy than similarly staged women that are not pregnant. Perhaps this is because at the end of pregnancy you get the most wonderful gift of all - a new life to love, protect, and praise God about. Whatever the reason, ACS should keep abreast (haha a little breast cancer humor) of current research.

Now, if you're like me, what I said above troubles you and leaves you confused, angry, and disappointed. However, here's my solution... Look in your own community for a cancer patient needing funds raised, travel paid for, prayers said, support given, etc. Give someone in your community suffering from cancer (breast, ovarian, prostate, lung, whatever kind) your DIRECT support. Cut out the middle-man, that way you'll KNOW where your money is going and who it's helping.

If you don't want to single someone out in your community, try your local cancer center or a large cancer center. You may need to research your cancer center to be sure they aren't in bed with PP or a similar organization. I've vetted my cancer center - MD Anderson - and found that they have a no embryonic stem cell research policy. I also know from experience that they have been helping women like me have their babies & receive treatment for 20 years. While they aren't 100% pro-life (a fact I sadly found out 2nd hand while down there), they don't perform abortions on-site, nor to my knowledge do they support PP. I would be tremendously honored if people who read my blog or attend my FaceBook page would donate to MD Anderson in my honor.

In short, sadly supporting many of the mainstream breast cancer organizations equals supporting Planned Parenthood and/or the abortion industry (or embryonic stem cell research). To combat this, find someone in your community in need of support & give them your money. Another option is to support a cancer center you KNOW isn't supporting abortion (like MD Anderson). Make sure your money goes where YOU want it to go.

PS - I've included some links to articles as sources for some of my numbers & information. If you're of a mind, you can do some independent internet research to find other sites supporting my facts. I've chosen to use Life Site News because of parsimony.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The article about my Life Award

Banquet Organizers 'Excited' About Turnout, Involvement

08 Oct 2010 — Messenger-Inquirer

By Beth Wilberding, Messenger-Inquirer

Organizers say Right to Life of Owensboro's annual banquet attracted one of its largest crowds this year.

Nearly 700 residents made reservations for Thursday night's banquet at the Hines Center, said Laura Ebelhar, president of Right to Life of Owensboro's board of directors.

'It's amazing,' she said earlier on Thursday. 'We think it's incredible. So many people are making a point to step forward and show their support for us and our missions. We're very impressed with the community at large. We're very excited about it.'

The annual banquet is Right to Life of Owensboro's largest fundraiser of the year. Money raised goes towards the organization's educational campaigns, including the billboards it places around town and radio and newspaper advertisements.

'Our mission is to educate about life, so we use the money to create educational campaigns essentially,' Ebelhar said.

Right to Life's guest speaker was Heather Gemmen Wilson, author of 'Startling Beauty: My Journey from Rape to Restoration.' Gemmen was raped in her home and became pregnant as a result of the sexual assault.

She told the group that she had three options: Keep and raise the baby, which she initially ruled out; put the baby up for adoption; or have an abortion.

'I'm ashamed to say how tempting that was,' she said. 'I grew up in a family that was pro-life.'

Though Wilson and her then-husband initially asked a married couple they were friends with to adopt the child, the couple ultimately decided to keep her child, a daughter.

She described her daughter as being 'the one startling beauty that could come from something so painful.'

Wilson encouraged the group to 'trust God in whatever situation you're in.'

'I do know God can do powerful things through your situation if you trust Him,' she said.

Accepting the Life Award: pictured Rick Jones, Rachel Vandiver, Amanda Reffitt, and Erika Vandiver (l to r) Photo by Rowan Jones
An Owensboro resident was honored with the organization's Life Award. Erika Vandiver was 28 years old and 20 weeks pregnant when she learned she had breast cancer in 2009.

She is the fifth generation in her family to have breast cancer. She delivered a healthy baby girl, Rachel, last Thanksgiving Day.

Vandiver and her husband, Andrew, also have a son, Simon.

Erika Vandiver went through chemotherapy while she was pregnant and continued treatment after Rachel was born. Vandiver had surgery for a bilateral mastectomy, then later to have her fallopian tubes and ovaries removed because she had a high risk of ovarian cancer.

Vandiver didn't know she was receiving the award.

'Most people don't have a clue that you can have cancer, survive and have a baby. ... It's important to insure that message gets out,' she said.

Beth Wilberding, 691-7307, bwilberding@messenger-inquirer.com

To Learn More:

Donations to Right to Life of Owensboro can be mailed to the organization at 1115 Tamarack Road, Suite 200, Owensboro, KY 42301, or made at www.rtlo.org. For more information about the organization, call 685-4922.

To learn more about Heather Gemmen Wilson, visit www.heathergemmen.com.

Erika Vandiver's blog is www.biologybrain-simonsays.blogspot.com.

Version: 6End:

"Banquet organizers 'excited' about turnout, involvement" Messenger-Inquirer 08 Oct 2010: C1

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Humbled & honored...

Well, I was conspired against at the Right to life banquet... I was awarded the annual Life Award for my journey with Rachel & cancer. I'm again humbled & honored by my family, friends, & strangers who find me inspiring for doing all I know how to do - survive. Thank you & God bless!

Total Pageviews

Smiling already at 2 weeks

Smiling already at 2 weeks
Rachel has been smiling as a response to other people since day one.

And two shall become one...

And two shall become one...
In 2006, Andrew & I became one before God and family! Shortly thereafter we became 3 with the birth of Simon in 2008... Then 4 with the addition of Rachel in 2009!

Erika's Miracle Journey Continues's Fan Box