by Kianna Goss
This month, join others in the fight
against breast cancer.
October is the month our society shines
light on actions to help those with breast
cancer. This month, sporting events, big brand
collaborations, local events, and fundraisers all
put breast cancer awareness front and center.
But for the individuals suffering from breast
cancer, they fight and deal with this disease for
much, much longer. So, will our fight for social
impact end when October ends? No.
Breast cancer awareness facts according to the
National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc.
- 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
- This year, an estimated 43,600 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S.
- Although skin cancer is most common for Americans overall, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. It is estimated that in 2021, approximately 30% of all new cancer diagnoses for women will be breast cancer.
- There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
Individuals Impacted by Breast Cancer
Growing up, a friend of my grandmother’s, Rita,
would light up the room with her presence.
Rita used to make jokes and enjoy a hot pot
of coffee while talking with my grandma.
Suddenly, she did not seem like herself. That’s
when my grandmother told me that Rita
had been diagnosed with breast cancer and
her doctors recommended a mastectomy
(removal of an entire breast). Rita refused.
At a young age, I did not understand the
dreadful impact this had on Rita’s physical
and emotional well-being. However, now I can
see how the constant doctor appointments,
toll the disease takes on your body, and the
life altering diagnosis can affect a person. Rita
is still fighting today, with the support and
encouragement of my grandmother every time
they talk on the phone.
Breast Cancer Awareness Campaigns
Many companies and organizations bring
awareness to breast cancer during October
- Panera Bread Pink Ribbon Bagel
This campaign started because Sue Stees,
a Panera Bread franchise owner and
survivor of breast cancer, was looking
for ways to support women also fighting
this disease. A portion of Pink Ribbon
Bagel sales benefit local breast cancer
organizations near each Panera location.
- Stella McCartney’s: A Letter to My Loved Ones campaign This 2020 campaign captured twelve women with diverse backgrounds and a range of different ages to show their scars, share their stories, and words of encouragement as they wear the Stella McCartney post-mastectomy bras. Portions of proceeds from specific items were donated to the Stella Cares Foundation, which has been contributing to breast cancer awareness since 2014.
This was a powerful video for me because
Rita might have felt the same way as these
women: sharing how their children gave
them the courage to keep fighting and about
their struggle with confidence after their
mastectomy. My grandmother’s encouragement
could be the reason Rita is still fighting. It goes
to show how we never know/understand the
lives of others until they share their stories.
What You Can Do
This month, wear pink, the chosen color for
bringing awareness to breast cancer, and post
those pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,
or any other media platform with the hashtag #breastcancerawarenessmonth. You can also donate or volunteer to help organizations/companies in your community supporting
awareness. After October ends, I will continue
to admire Rita and find ways to support the
cause or educate others and encourage you to
do the same, because survivors like Rita need to
see that they are not alone in their battles.
About Kianna Goss
Kianna Goss is a senior at Bradley University, majoring in journalism with a double minor in sociology and advertising with public relations. The importance of community involvement is to use your voice. Kianna’s voice is one of the strongest platforms she has, and utilizes it through her writing. Being a Black woman, Kianna often writes to give a voice to the Black community to gain control over the media that portrays them in a negative way. Kianna is a writer with different form expressions. She has written poetically, through blogs, newspapers, and opinion pieces. Kianna always looks for more opportunities to grow as a writer and person. Kianna is currently the social media director for Her Campus, works as a peer mentor for Bradley’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and is a team leader/caller at the Bradley Fund. Being able to explore her creativity is what she loves most about Bradley. The Communications department is molding her into the journalist she aspires to be.
About Faith Marie
Faith Marie is a homeschooled senior in high school who dreams of being an artist entrepreneur one day. She fell in love with creating at a young age and now experiments with all kinds of mediums. You can find her on Instagram at @faithmariedraws.