October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Where did the pink ribbon symbol come from to raise awareness? The official Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign began in 1985 with a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical branch of Imperial Chemical Industries. Former President Gerald Ford’s wife, Betty, was diagnosed with breast cancer while he was in office and they wanted to bring more attention to the disease. The goal was to educate women about breast cancer and early detection to have a better chance at fighting it.
The pink ribbon detail of Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1992 with Estée Lauder Cosmetics. Millions of pink ribbons were handed out by the cosmetics giant and it became a visual reminder of the campaign.
What is the best way to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October? The main goal of the campaign across multiple organizations such as Susan G. Komen and the National Breast Cancer Foundation is to raise awareness for everyone and provide information as well as access to screenings. Most women need to schedule a mammogram by age 40 and early detection is key to successful treatment. There are also multiple organizations both locally and globally that accept donations to further help provide resources to those going through breast cancer.
The Lydia Project is a CSRA-based organization that has helped breast cancer fighters and survivors in the area for years. They provide grants for rent, medical supplies, prescription assistance and other basic expenses for those in the area while they are undergoing treatment. They also provide handmade totes for people of all ages with encouraging items inside.
The University Health Care Foundation is another local organization that aids in providing resources to those fighting breast cancer. They host the annual Miracle Mile Walk, which has been changed to a Miracle Mile Drive for 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be on Saturday, October 16 starting at the University Hospital Summerville campus. You can visit the link above for more information and to register as an individual or team, or make a donation to the foundation.
There is more to breast cancer awareness than just wearing pink. Recognizing the signs and symptoms to begin treatment is key.