Sunday Edit: Expedition Pink Ribbon
“How are you?” is perhaps the most frequently asked question Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph has been met with over the last two years. The answer is: It's going much, much better. For each new day. Thanks to new cancer research, advanced and intensive treatments, and endless care.
That's exactly why Andrea is on an important mission. For the fight against breast cancer and for the rights of all women and their access to treatment as good as she herself has received. Andrea’s life took a wild, unexpected and raw turn in 2021 when she was diagnosed, treated and finally cured of breast cancer. 2022 was like a long and difficult ascent from the bottom of the deepest sea, and first now, in the spring of 2023, is Rudolph Care's founder ready to stand firm and reach out with strength. Together with her co-survivors and new, Nordic friends in Expedition Pink Ribbon, for which she is the Danish ambassador when the team traverses the Greenland ice sheet this May.
How do you feel right now?
“My year has started off so well. At long last, everything feels good, liberating – and a little more normal again. Although I 'only' had cancer and was undergoing treatment in 2021, 2022 was a difficult year for me in many ways. Now I feel very much that the fog is lifting. I can be who I want to be again. When I was sick, I was afraid to change. But I have and it feels good. And I have chosen the new in me. I've always had a lot of energy and it was just gone. When it came back, it dawned on me that I was running so very hard just because I could, not because I had to. It's different now. At the beginning of the year, when my husband was away reporting on the World Men’s Handball Championship, I packed the car with our youngest two and took off skiing for a whole month. It was a perfect fit for my new perspective. To be able to see beyond the mountains and dream of all that we were to experience together while at the same time being present, enjoying the peace and retreating to the small mountain village with my children. We will never forget that trip and I now feel that my basic energy levels are back to normal. It’s the foundation for me now throwing myself into the fight again.”
How did you come across Expedition Pink Ribbon?
“The initiator of the project is Silje Løkeng, a Norwegian woman. She is the coolest project creator and has survived breast cancer. She heard about me and my illness through a mutual acquaintance and contacted me on Instagram. We started following each other and she texted me out of the blue. I was standing in the middle of the street after a course of chemotherapy, quite literally on my knees. She was very direct: “Hi, I have a project that I think you should join when you're well. You don't have to say yes now.” She told me about ice caps and survival and strength and struggle. It was exactly what I needed, so I just said yes. I was so happy because she gave me space for something very tangible, a goal, besides survival, on the other side of illness. She gave me a real dream that lifted my spirits.”
What is Expedition Pink Ribbon?
“In 2020, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer globally. I was one of them and have now come out on the other side. I am determined to do everything I can so that as many as possible receive the same good treatment as I did. Out of the 2.3 million women, there were 685,000 mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, friends and partners who did not survive. We need to slash that number now! That's what Expedition Pink Ribbon is all about. We are four breast cancer survivors – Silje from Norway, Lisa from Sweden, Inequ Maja from Greenland and me – who together with two guides will cross the Greenland ice sheet. The project has one purpose: to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. You can read much more about this at expeditionpinkribbon.no.”
What is your role and why?
“My original plan was to go in front across the ice but instead I will walk the last part of the trip and fight for the cause as an Expedition Pink Ribbon ambassador here in Denmark. My body is still healing and I have spent a lot of time away from my family over the past few years, so despite not crossing the entire ice sheet, I will use the remaining energy I have to raise as much money as possible at home.
How can others help? What does Expedition Pink Ribbon need right now?
“First of all, check your breasts. Take a look at Silje's videos on Instagram #expeditionpinkribbon. The earlier breast cancer is detected, the greater the chance of recovery. A good tip is to examine yourself as part of your beauty routine, when you’re in front of the mirror already and can both feel and look for changes that perhaps aren’t immediately noticeable. Keep an eye on your boobs. You can also support our expedition. Every penny and every breast counts. Despite more of us staying at home than traversing the ice, Expedition Pink Ribbon is for all of us. Breast cancer affects most people in some way and together we can do something about it. Expedition Pink Ribbon is one way.”
Here's how you can support Expedition Pink Ribbon
Every penny and loving thought counts. Our goal is to raise a minimum of 3.6 million Norwegian Kroner that will go directly to the official cancer associations in all involved countries. In Denmark it will go to Breast Cancer Support / Kræftens Bekæmpelse.
You can donate directly via the expedition's Mobile Pay account: 306090.
If you dream of crossing the ice sheet, you can send your name or the name of a loved one affected by cancer along on the trip. All names will be written on the sleds pulled across the ice by Expedition Pink Ribbon. Support with 193.50 Danish kroner (equivalent 300 Norwegian kroner) by clicking on 'Name on sled' via the link here.
If you want to support directly, you are welcome to contact Expedition Pink Ribbon here.
Follow the expedition on Instagram: @expeditionpinkribbon
Source: The World Health Organization, 2021: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/breast-cancer
Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph
“Together we can and must. The four of us have had different yet incredible treatment. We have received help to live on and must do everything we can to make that a reality for as many as possible”