Whew! When fall  hits, so do a slew of official “months.” October is  now swathed in pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month; less expected, however, is this sudden influx of pink National Football League merchandise. For the latter, it seems, we can thank Tanya Snyder, 47, whose husband Dan owns the Washington Redskins. She told The New York Times about the way cancer changed her life:

Redskins Football Tanya SnyderAfter she learned she had breast cancer early last year, she called Dan at his office and he sped home. They took a long walk.
“I just remember being in a twilight zone,” she said. “I felt like I was 2 feet tall. I was very afraid.”

In the decade her husband has owned the Redskins, Tanya Snyder has ceded the spotlight to him. Now she is talking about her illness for the first time, becoming the delicate face of the N.F.L.’s effort during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, with help from Larry Fitzgerald, the Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, whose mother died of breast cancer.

At games on Oct. 4 and on other dates in October, players will wear hot-pink gloves, wristbands and cleats, and goal-post legs will be wrapped in hot-pink padding. Each fan will receive a pink-and-white rally towel and will be inundated with the message that screenings for women over 40 are crucial.

“Before she got sick, she’d be all excited about these programs,” Dan Snyder said in an interview at Redskins Park, the team’s headquarters. “It’s kind of eerie. So maybe it was meant to be to help with this.”

Baldwin_AMeanwhile, October is also GLBT History Month, marking the rich contributions made to our history by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender voices often lost in the past. This weekend, Equality Forum starts off its list of “GLBT Heroes,” which includes such worthies as Zora Neale Hurston, Alfred Kinsey and Rachel Maddow, with none other than U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin:

Baldwin, 47, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998, making her Wisconsin’s first congresswoman. Elected to her sixth term in 2008, Baldwin serves on the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee of Energy and Commerce, and on the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the Committee of the Judiciary. She’s also a leading advocate for universal health care, as well as a proponent of renewable fuel sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking of heroes…Women’s Enews reminded us this week that filmmaker Roman Polanski is not the only international figure hoping that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will intervene to stop a long-delayed trial. Mu Sochua, a Cambodian legislator who has worked for 20 years to help revive the once-war-torn nation, first met Clinton in 1995, during the Beijing World Conference for Women; in 2002 she received the Leadership Award from Clinton’s Vital Voices Foundation, co-founded by Clinton when she was a U.S. Senator. And last week she asked Clinton to help her fight the guilty verdict she received in August for “defamation” of the country’s prime minister (by accusing his party of corruption during the 2008 elections).

After meeting with Clinton, Sochua reiterated to her audiences across the United States, including the one in Sacramento, that she pressed the top U.S. diplomat to make future U.S. economic aid contingent upon taking action to end human rights abuses.

musochuaThe office of Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, states that Verveer had been planning a trip to Cambodia to look into women’s issues, including unemployment due to the current global economic crisis.

When Sochua heard that Verveer might be coming to Cambodia, she asked Clinton if the ambassador-at-large could also look into some of the issues that Sochua raised regarding the rule of law and freedom of speech.

Sochua [has] encouraged supporters to petition Clinton to keep her promise about sending a special envoy to investigate human rights abuses. Cambodia receives approximately $1 billion in annual foreign aid, of which $59 million is from the United States.

Below, watch Sochua talk to World Pulse magazine about her case. We hope that women everywhere have Sochua’s back at this crucial time.

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