It’s October — and that means everything and everyone seems to be pulling out and putting on the pink.
Whether you’re supportive of the color’s ties to breast cancer awareness (which date back to 1991 or so), or you’re on guard for so-called pinkwashing (a marketing ploy that plays on fear and grief to push consumers into buying pink products) — it’s here in all of it’s pastel-to-fuschia glory.
To be fair, Frederick Memorial Hospital is involved in several pink-themed events this month, including this weekend’s Pink Ribbon 5K, an entry in the Pink Glove Dance competition, special screening mammography events for area businesses and an annual breast cancer symposium.
The 5K and Pink Glove Dance video are both efforts to raise money to support the early detection of breast cancer right here in Frederick County. The screening events offer employees with area businesses special evening appointments in an attempt to make them more convenient. This year’s breast cancer symposium will educate attendees on genetic testing and when and how it can be useful in the fight against breast cancer.
Still, I have to admit I’ve wondered (on a personal level) — what would happen if we eased up on the pink? Would the community’s awareness about this disease suffer?
Last month my husband and I got a chance to find out (sort of) while on vacation in Florence, Italy. When we arrived in the city, we found out it was hosting its annual Corri la Vita 5K the next morning. We set our alarm clock and got up to join 25,000 of our closest friends in Piazza della Signoria for this 9th-annual event.
You know what was interesting? I didn’t see a stitch of pink anywhere.
This year is the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification, so the race t-shirts (designed by Salvatore Ferragamo) reflected the three colors on the Italian flag: green, white and red.
According to organizers, this year’s event raised more than $400,000 for LILT – the Italian League Against Cancer. That’s an amazing contribution to the cause, no matter what color you’re wearing, and it’s on top of about $2.7 million raised in the race’s first eight years.
At best, it’s an interesting anecdote about an experience that got me thinking. What are your thoughts?
If pink works for you when it comes to breast cancer awareness — great! You’ll be seeing a lot of reminders this month and I hope you’ll take the opportunity to make an appointment for your annual screening mammogram (or if you’re not due, at least put a reminder on your calendar for the month when you should get your mammogram), learn more about your family history when it comes to breast cancer, or just seek out some advice for lowering your risk of developing cancer in general.
If pink doesn’t make you think of breast cancer, that’s okay too. After all, it’s only a color.
Consider this a color blind reminder to get (or schedule) that mammogram, investigate your family history, look into lowering your risk factors, talk to your friends and loved ones about this disease, adopt a new healthy habit, or do something else you’ve been putting off related to your health.