The Bravest Young Woman You'll Meet Today: Lindsay Avner

Recently, CNN Young People Who Rock Blog, which focuses on noteworthy youths, has a feature on Lindsay Avner.

Lindsay, 23, is a healthy young woman who volunteered to undergo double masectomy because virtually every woman in her family (her mother, grandmother, great greandmother, aunts, and cousins ... all suffered from or died of breast cancer).

Avner took control of her own destiny after a blood test revealed she had a genetic predisposition to the disease. She didn't want to live in fear. She wanted to meet her future husband and say, "we got this out of the way so our family won't go through what I did growing up."

A truly brave woman: Link | Lindsay's new nonprofit organization Be Bright Pink

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Breastfeeder, you are a truly dispicable human being. Maybe the reason you have a hard time with the opposite sex is because you only date superficial jerks. That, or your inner ugliness has left its mark on your outer appearance.

Not all men are preoccuppied with breasts and those that are probably aren't worth being with anyway. Has she limited her options? Of course. But that just means she doesn't have to wade through a lot of a'holes to find someone who will like her for her.

In fact, sometimes women who don't live up to societies expectations have an easier time finding love because men aren't after them for the wrong reasons.

As for the sterilization comment, that's beyond idiotic. By your logic, nobody should have children because life is a fatal condition. The only way for anyone to avoid death is never to live at all.

I certainly don't regret being born just because I may or may not have a ticking timebomb in my body. My mom had a voluntary mastectomy because she had a 90% chance of cancer and as her daughter, I'm glad she did it because I'm selfish and I want her to stay alive and healthy and be in my life and the life of my future children.

My aunts who already have cancer don't begrudge her decision, either, and they don't think of her as less of a person for taking measures to avoid cancer. But that's because we care more about each other being alive, healthy and well and less about appeasing others who feel that its more important to be brave and face death instead of taking preventative measures to remain with loved ones.

There's more to life than breasts and anyone whose quality of life is going to be that horribly diminished without them needs to get their priorities in order. Only a seriously disturbed individual would believe that my mother for example should keep her breasts at the 90%+ risk of dieing young leaving her family behind.

Maybe you'd choose a short life of superifical beauty over a long and fullfilling life, but I'm glad my mother didn't.
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I think that we need to first DEFINE "bravery." Is it brave to face death? Or is brave to dodge it? Is it brave to address adversity or is brave to try to avoid it?

If we take the common military analogy, bravery is defined by facing one's mortality without concern for the self. The SELFLESS act of extending one's own peril in order to alleviate the danger to OTHERS.

The Case of the Purple Heart:

If this act is considered brave, then so would the soldiers who shot themselves in the foot to get out of military service. Those who did so, anticipated being killed in battle, like all their commrades. Thus, they inflicted a self-induced wound to bypass the high likelihood of injury or death from the hands of FATE.

It appears to me that self-inflicted wounds, while perhaps WISE or SHREWD cannot rise to the level of bravery since the only life she is saving is her own.

Brave would be DONATING organs to someone who was in need of them, at the risk of your safety.

Brave would be sacrificing something dear to you for the purposes of helping someone OTHER THAN ONE'S SELF live on.

This act is not news worthy except for its drastic, grotesque tabloid nature.

Jesus was brave.

Judas was not.

Martin Luther King was brave.

James Earl Ray was not.

John Lennon was brave.

Mahatma Gandhi was brave.

Joan of Arc was brave.

Ann Frank was brave.

Cutting one's self when one is NOT suffering a disease, not in peril, not at risk of death NOR is there anything or anyone ELSE in her life for which this act benefits beside herself. It is not brave in the classic sense. we as community should NOT name churches, build monuments or inscribe her name in the annals of history b/c of this act of self PRESERVATION.

Please, wake up and read your history. The world is SO full of heros such that this story shouldn't be raised up as some paen to womanhood and self sacrifice.

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Um, okay. Seems to me that BRAVE would have been to continue living her life normally, knowing that someday she might have to BRAVELY deal with a potentially deadly disease and hoping for a cure in the meantime. Like most other people in her shoes live.

You want bravery? Well, since this is a genetic thing she will most likely pass on to her daughters, she ought to get herself sterilized. Now THAT would be brave -- sacrificing her own expressed desire to have children in order to protect them from her own potentially fatal genetic flaw. THAT you could maybe convince me to applaud. But self-mutilation out of FEAR hardly constitutes 'bravery' to me.

Hey it's her body; she can do what she wants with it -- but at 23 years old, she has no idea what the hell she's doing. In 10 years they might have found a cure or at least drastically reduced the levels of suffering and death, and she'll only be 33. Imagine how she will feel about her drastic decision THEN.

In the meantime, I hate to be the one to break it to her, but when she talks about 'finding a husband', I just cringe. Sorry for the reality check, kids, but she's deformed now -- which dramatically reduces the pool of men from which she has to choose. I know that's going to elicit all kinds of flak from the politically correct dreamers out there, but the fact is that men are attracted to breasts. Some guys prefer them big; some guys don't care all that much about the size -- but we ALL consider them part of the package. I honestly don't know any man who would marry a woman who had no breasts at all. I'm sure there are guys out there who would, but they're in a (desperate?) minority, and she isn't likely to be interested in most of them. Hey; it's hard enough to find love as it is -- just ask a woman who's got her tits intact.

If she'd married a man, had kids and THEN had to go through a mastectomy because of cancer, then any guy worth his sack would stick around and deal with it because he loves her. But that doesn't mean you can blame a guy for not wanting to marry a breastless woman in the first place. So good luck, Lindsay. Find yourself a nice blind guy with no hands.
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Anthony's black humour is good.
Terrible joke in those corcumstances, but hey, I hope if I die of cancer that some people can get a few laughs. Respectful black humour laughs. A very close family friend is living us this way as we exchange opinions, so I know how good the comical relief can be.
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