By: Chidinma J. Obiakor
October is the month of pumpkin spice lattes, colorful leaves and Halloween. However, if you ask any one of the one in eight women who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, October is the month of pink. As you might already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. From the pink fountain in Philadelphia’s LOVE Park to the glimmering rose color of the Eiffel Tower, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is celebrated coast to coast.
In 1985, a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the Imperial Chemical Industry was formed to promote awareness of the second leading disease in women. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) wanted to motivate middle-aged women to visit their doctors to receive mammograms. Mammograms, a form of early detection of breast cancer, were also the kiss of death in most women’s eyes. The cold floors and white robes consumed their thoughts and they feared the most negative outcome; that they would be one of the unlucky few women with breast cancer. However, “the unlucky few” population grew more and more until the fatality rate reached over 40,000 women.
Enough was enough, in 1991 when one powerful woman’s story took over an entire city. Susan G. Komen’s sister took to the forefront in the race, rather should I say walk, to encourage to those, who were diagnosed to get early detection. The uplifting bright pink ribbon was the start of a captivating story. In fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation organized a walk in New York City for breast cancer. At first, the foundation would only hand ribbons to the survivors, but more people began to realize that breast cancer affects not only the patient, but their families, friends and the thousands of strangers going through the same experience. So a symbol everywhere to those going through this and promoting the fight was a radiant pink ribbon, almost as radiant as each individual wearing it. The support didn’t stop there. As the awareness of breast cancer rose, so did the feeling of support in many different forms. Today, people show their encouragement in different ways around the world. There are countless television programs throughout the month that are sponsored by breast cancer associations.
Also, many fashion labels have all pink collections and hold “pink days” at work, where they can show their support by wearing pink to the workplace. Not to mention the support from men. NFL players wear pink headbands, socks, and gloves as they run across the yard lines. If one were to sum up National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in one word it would be support. Various organizations have shown their support for women struggling day by day with this disease. This October people will continue to show the beautiful shades of pink in support of these women.