Goodbye, Beth Caldwell #forbeth

Most of you reading this are familiar with the incomparable Beth Caldwell, who died on November 2 from metastatic breast cancer. I could go on about her indomitable spirit and fierce advocacy, but most everyone within the breast cancer community is well aware of Beth who has always had our love and esteem.

I first contacted Beth after reading an account of her being ignored and disrespected by a Komen representative. I felt so incensed at the treatment given to a Stage 4 patient that I messaged her and asked for permission to quote her in a blog post about Komen and the Metastatic Community. Of course she said, “Quote away!” I posted and she wrote in the comments:

Thank you, my friend. It means so much to the metastatic community when early stagers like yourself stick up for us.

This is what Beth wants. The best way to honor her memory is to continue the work she started and not indulge the Pink Culture myths and narrative. We need a cure, not more awareness. What about awareness of all the younger women, such as Beth, who are of pre-mammogram age and diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer? We need a cure, not more hype about mammograms or smiling women running races like conquering warriors to raise more money for the machine. We need a cure.

I had asked Beth: If you could recommend just two organizations that are worthy of our donations, what would that be? Her response was:

Metavivor.org

BCRF.org

Also, please check out MetUp which she co-founded.

I’m particularly grieved for her husband, her two young children, and parents. It brings to mind the memory of my friend Craig, who also died of metastatic cancer and left a wife and children similar in age to Beth’s kids. When I last visited with Craig, we watched his young son running in the playground and Craig said to me, “I hope he remembers me.” I hope Beth’s little one, who just started kindergarten, remembers her too. I hope her children always know what an amazing woman their mother is.

There are no words that can adequately express the unspeakable grief and loss to Beth’s family in particular and the community in general. Love and peace to all.

Comments

  1. Yes. We need a cure. I’m very sorry it won’t be in time for your friend.

  2. Another star extinguished and the sky shade darker. Goodbye Beth, I’m so sorry that after all this time there’s still so little we can do for our stage four friends.

  3. nancyspoint says:

    Hi Eileen,
    This is so hard and like you, like all of us I’m sure, I’m particularly grieved for Beth’s husband and two young children and parents. I keep thinking about Beth’s wish to stay alive long enough to see her daughter start kindergarten. She did see that. But then cancer stole her away almost immediately after. What a f***ing cruel disease. Thank you for this post. xo

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