Campus News Editor
Pink can be seen everywhere during the month of October, however, pink represents more than just care and support. For those affected by breast cancer, pink stands for hope.
Without hope, there is nothing. Hope gets us up in the morning and helps us fall asleep at night. It gives us the will to fight on, even if we physically can’t, and for breast cancer patients and survivors, hope is everything. From a pink ribbon to pink football gear, hope is everywhere.
Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of death for women, with more and more families becoming affected by it every year. In order to raise money and spread awareness, SC students sold pink merchandise around campus this past week, with the money they raised going to the Rays of Hope Foundation.
“I think it is important to raise awareness,” said Springfield College senior Bernadette Raum, who was one of 22,000 people that participated in this year’s Rays of Hope walk this past Sunday. Participants could choose to walk a 3K, 5K or run an 8K.
Since it was founded in 1994, Rays of Hope has held a walk/run for breast cancer in Springfield, helping the Baystate Health Foundation raise over $11.08 million. Every dollar donated helps to fund breast health programs throughout the Baystate area, local breast cancer research, and various outreach and education programs.
Through this fundraiser and community donations, the Rays of Hope walk provides everyone more time with their friends and families, who can walk with their affected love ones during their fight with breast cancer, and give aid to the research and development of a cure.
“I [walked] because [breast cancer] has touched my family,” said Raum. “The more we can get people involved and aware, the better.”
Breast cancer is the most common disease in women, and one in eight will be diagnosed with it throughout their lifetime. Each year, over 220,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 women will die as a result. However, breast cancer does not only affect women; over 2,150 men are diagnosed with it every year and 410 men will die from breast cancer.
Walking to support a family member, friend or your community doesn’t just raise awareness and money, it also brings hope to everyone affected. Support from everywhere gives those affected by breast cancer more and more hope to keep fighting and that one day, there will be a cure.
Rays of Hope, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, is one of many foundations that helps support breast cancer awareness. Raising awareness and spreading hope do more than any amount of money could ever do – for hope provides the will to fight on.