October is here and we're starting to see a good amount of Pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many big brands and organizations have become supporters in one way or another to help create awareness and raise funds for breast cancer research. So each October I usually will do a couple of blog posts on who's doing what to support the cause.
Some first signs of Pink I noticed this past Sunday while watching NFL football. That's because throughout October the league is allowing players, coaches and referees to wear pink gear and feature special game balls and pink coins in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NFL's campaign "A Crucial Catch", is in partnership with the American Cancer Society, and is focused on the importance of annual screenings. Some players are supporting the cause by wearing pink cleats, gloves, sweatbands and towels. All apparel worn at games will be auctioned off at NFL Auction with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society and team charities. You can purchase some of this pink gear and apparel at the NFL Shop.
The idea for the shoes came from Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She is now in remission, however his three sisters died from the disease. "Her detecting it early was the reason she was able to pull through it,” Williams said in this NY Times article.
Another interesting campaign this year, "The Pledge To Fight Forward", is being sponsored by pharmaceutical marketer Celgene, in an effort to focus attention on women suffering from metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic cancer is a cancer that has spread from the part of the body where it started (the primary site) to other parts of the body. The campaign is built around a digital component, this website, which enables supporters to pledge by sending an electronic postcard to show support and spread awareness of metastatic breast cancer. Supporters are also encouraged to send them the old-fashioned way via actual postcards distributed in hospitals, doctors' offices and treatment centers.
I just sent one of these postcards to my sister since this is personally very close to us. We lost our mom last year to metastatic breast cancer. Here was a situation in which the breast cancer was detected early and the doctors thought they had cured her. Only to find out a year later that it was back in her lungs. My sister was the primary family member that supported my mom through this illness and accompanied her on most of her visits to the doctor and the treatment center. We didn't initially understand all that you eventually learn once you do have a loved one with cancer. Support groups such as this are indeed a source of information and hope.
Many of us have personal stories that we can share regarding this terrible illness. With all the research and communications encouraging early screening we hopefully will start to see a decrease in the amount of women this affects. Just this past summer two women on our golf league each had double mastectomy surgery. Both are doing well and appear to be fine. One of the women was our league leader who, with all she was going through, hardly missed a week of golf and still kept the group organized.
This past weekend at our annual end of the year golf tournament and dinner we thanked our leader by donating to a local organization, The Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. I helped organize the event and was so pleased at the tremendously positive response that it generated which resulted in a $550 donation.
It's amazing what can be done when people get behind a cause they feel passionate about. This is definitely one of them.