Raising awareness is more than the color pink
A couple weekends ago, when taking a stroll down the canal walk in downtown Indianapolis I noticed something different about the water in the canal…it was pink. I thought to myself, hmmm that is strange and went on my merry way. Fast forward to the following week a co-worker informed me the city of Indianapolis dyes the water of the canal pink every October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Without realizing, a month that means so much to so many (including my own family) had snuck up on me.
Ever since, I have been reflecting on the true meaning behind this month. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer risks, the value of screening and early detection and treatment options available to women and men who are diagnosed with one of the many forms of breast cancer.
Over the years one symbol, a loop of pink ribbon, has become the icon for breast cancer awareness. The image of this pink ribbon can be found embroidered on thousands of products, from clothing to kitchen decor and office supplies. While wearing this symbol makes a wonderful statement, there is far more to raising awareness than just wearing pink.
Below are three ways I believe we can truly raise awareness for Breast Cancer:
Share why you wear
Wearing pink is great but we can’t simply wear the color or the ribbon, we need to share why we wear it. Sharing your why will help engage others and create conversations which will raise awareness. If you purchase an item with the pink ribbon on it, talk about it. Share how awesome it is that a portion of your purchase is being donated towards breast cancer research and encourage others to support the cause.
We live in a digital world so use it to spread the word on our social platforms, even better, this can be done year-round! In 2014, the Keep a Breast Foundation launched the #CheckYourSelfie campaign as a way to communicate the importance of early detection. Participation in this campaign is summarized into three steps:
- Snap a selfie with three fingers to your breast, symbolizing your monthly commitment to checking yourself.
- Challenge three friends to take the pledge by tagging them and letting them know why it is important to you.
- Share your photo on social media and use #CheckYourSelfie.
Support with a smile
Sometimes something so simple can be the hardest thing to do. Simply sharing a smile can be the best way to show your support for those who have Breast Cancer and their families. I know first-hand how difficult these times are for families and seeing a smile sometimes would turn a whole day around. We often hear about financial donations and how they are always encouraged as a way to show support but being emotionally supportive is equally as important.
Breast Cancer is, unfortunately, something that far too many of women have strong connections to. Thankfully, through many efforts ranging from those listed above to dying the water in a canal, awareness has been raised for this disease and each day brings us a step closer to finding a cure.
Below is a list of resources on all aspects of Breast Cancer. I encourage you to explore these links and continue your efforts in raising awareness for Breast Cancer.