Friday, June 6, 2008

Arizona Instittute for Breast Health

As I may have mentioned before – Susan G. Komen is the big name, but not the only name in Breast Cancer. As the Team H.O.P.E. ladies go about the business of raising money and awareness we naturally meet many people whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

Miss Jeannie spoke with a woman the other day who was very supportive of us and our efforts and who volunteers her time and energy to AIBH. I had never heard of them so I looked them up. Here is part of their mission:

The Arizona Institute for Breast Health, a local non-profit organization, offers a woman who has been diagnosed with breast cancer a second opinion, completely free of charge. The volunteer team of physicians and medical professionals are breast health experts whose specialties include breast radiology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, reconstructive surgery, and breast pathology. This team evaluates the best medical and surgical options for the preservation of a woman's life, body and emotional well-being, as well as the continued quality of her life. In a caring, expedient and objective manner, the team will provide a comprehensive evaluation and recommendations for treatment.

How cool is that? Imagine getting the diagnosis. You want to waste no time in getting treatment because this is one of those things where time is of the essence. (The essence of life, to be blunt. Breast cancer – for all the awareness sand fundraising and research still kills people every day!) So you want to begin treatment ASAP but you also want to make very sure this is in fact what you have before you start taking the poison. I’m sorry, I mean the medicine. (The women I’ve met who have been through this know it is a bit of both.) Imagine being able to get that second opinion without having to get pre-approval from your HMO (if in fact you are lucky enough to have an HMO) or waiting months for another appointment.

The AIBH has many fund raisers. Some of them involve motorcycle rides and some involve fashion. There is naturally a golf tournament. (I think there is some sort of state law in Arizona that anyone raising money must have a golf tournament. Which reminds me – in a few days we will post information on the Team H.O.P.E. ~Simply the Breast~ golf tournament!)

The one that I wished we had thought of (and had the resources to pull off) was called “The Pink Light District” where one could buy a pink light bulb. Not to take home but to be used to light up a bridge in Scottsdale. I don’t get to Scottsdale real often so I missed it last year but I guess they had the bridge lit pink for the entire month of October!

Naturally here at Team H.O.P.E. we believe that if someone wants to donate money for Breast Cancer they should click on one of the donate buttons just to the right and up a little bit. But if you want more variety in your donating day I think you could definitely do worse than AIBH.

Have a healthy, happy, pink glowing day!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sharpest Knife in the Drawer

Y’all remember how long it took me to do the Sharpie Pink Ribbon Product Review because I had to edit out this long diatribe about Zero Tolerance policies in our public schools? Well for today’s Pink Ribbon Product Review I had to rein in the comments about airport security. But from point A to point B one does have to go through security. . . . . .

I took a leather work class a few years back. Loved it! The instructor, Jim, had a ceramic blade for his swivel cutter. We were cutting thick cow hide and watching that ceramic blade glide through the leather like butter was amazing. Every time since when I have stood in line at a metal detector I have had a vision of that ceramic blade. I was never committed enough at leatherwork to justify the additional cost of a ceramic blade but I’ve nonetheless coveted it.

Then I discovered that there are ceramic kitchen knives! I am a committed enough cook to warrant high quality cutlery!

When I showed Miss Jeannie my new Kyocera knife she said the brand name seemed familiar. I pondered it a moment and realized it sounded a lot like the name on my Cell Phone. So I checked later and sure enough, both are spelled the same and both have the same odd little symbol:

So I suspect they are the same company. They are also the company that makes ceramic components for hip and knee replacements. I don’t think they have a special Pink Ribbon hip replacement so today we will just talk about their Pink-handled Santoku knife.

I wasn’t real thrilled with the company’s picture since the knife looks kinda plasticky in this pic so I took some of my own photos. Which I can’t put up because I can’t find my card reader, and I no longer have the little cord that connects my camera to the USB. My husband bought me the card reader in part because it would be impossible to lose!

Trust me, in person this knife is much prettier. The pink is just a shade softer than the pink sharpie cap and the blade has an almost pearl-like depth to it. It is a light weight knife but does not feel cheap or flimsy in the hand. It fits nicely, being large enough to do some serious chopping but not so large as be ungainly.

This knife can slice! You can slice paper thin tomato slices. (Excuse me – why would anyone want paper thin tomato slices?) Colby cheese does not stick to the blade. Unlike my stainless knifes it actually minces cilantro and doesn’t just bruise it. I love this knife!

I guess I should be fair and balanced and say something less than complimentary. Okay, when I’m using the knife I feel like one of those TV chefs and I just know one day I’m going to get carried away and slice off the tips of my knuckles. (I try to keep my fingers turned under like they say you should to keep from slicing off your finger tips) I wonder if Kyocera makes knuckle replacements?

So we’ve established that the knife is way cool. We want it. But we have to ask ourselves – is the Pink Ribbon meaningful or just a gimmick?

Here is the quote from the company website:

This pink-handled Santoku knife is feather-light and stays super-sharp. Plus, Kyocera advanced ceramics will donate $5.00 for the sale of each pink knife sold, with a guaranteed minimum donation of $10,000 to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. So far, Kyocera advanced ceramics has donated over $89,000. Makes a wonderful gift. Acetate box. Made in Japan.

Did you get that? Even if they hadn’t sold a single knife and ended up with a warehouse full of sharp pink ceramic they would still have donated ten grand to the cause. You can buy a lot of test tubes and Petri dishes for ten thousand dollars. And, what’s even better, they didn’t cap it off like some companies. (I won’t mention Cartier by name ~ on the off chance that I get the opportunity to review their $3,900 watch) So if every person reading this blog bought one of these knives. . . okay – bad example – the point is that the more knives they sell the more they donate. Which is something we sort of assume when buying products tied to a charity but isn’t always the case.

I don’t really have anything more to say about the knife and I’m impatient to get back to my slicing and dicing so. . . . .

Have a wonderful day!