Let There Be Pink

If you’re wondering why pink ribbons are showing up everywhere from yogurt containers and eggs to firefighters and big burly football players, it’s because October is, among other things, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Those of us in the Santa Barbara area got a preview of it a few weeks ago when Avon came calling with their 2-day walk, featuring 2,000 participants covering 39 miles and raising $4.6 million to “advance access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer.” Congrats to walkers, crew, and supporters!

Coming up Thursday (tonight), there’s a little thing going on down at the harbor called “Eat and Drink for the Cure” at Chuck’s Waterfront Grill and Endless Summer Bar and Cafe. They’re donating 15% of the day’s proceeds to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure—on my behalf because I’m raising funds, and training, for the three-day, 60-mile walk in Arizona in November. While they may not walk precisely the same path, Komen and Avon are each doing great things toward the common goal of eradicating breast cancer. Hope to see you on Thursday. To make reservations, call 805-564-1200.

If two or three days worth of walking isn’t your style, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara’s 19th Annual Walk/Run (5K and 10K) is taking place Sunday, October 16 in Montecito, with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting local cancer research and the Cancer Center, a true community treasure and “A Charitably Supported Local Provider of Excellent Cancer Care Since 1949.”

In preparation for my gig on Thursday, I visited the Santa Barbara Breast Cancer Resource Center, where I was greeted with warmth and a plethora of information. They are resourceful to say the least, thanks in large part to dedicated staff and volunteers, and a community that cares. In fact, they were still glowing from their “Think Pink” Fall Gala Fundraiser the weekend before. Such fundraisers allow them to roll out their FREE screening mammogram program serving Santa Barbara County, called, “You screen. We all screen for breast health!” From their brochure: “Mammograms are used to detect breast cancer. The earlier the cancer is found, the more likely it is to be small and confined to the breast, which greatly increases treatment success.” It’s a fact, early detection saves lives.

If there’s one thing you do for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, get yourself screened, especially if you’re a woman over 40 or have a family history of breast cancer. I’m passionate about this in part because my mother and grandmother both had breast cancer. Thankfully, they survived their respective bouts with the awful disease, but not without losing a couple things along the way. While inspired by Mom and Gram, I owe a lot of my passion to the Komen organization.

In response to a reporter’s question about Breast Cancer Awareness Month becoming too commercialized (and too pink), the Susan G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy Brinker said, “I say there is not nearly enough pink. Without the red AIDS ribbon, we wouldn’t have anti-retroviral treatments. We wouldn’t have a cure for polio without the March of Dimes. Please don’t tell me we have too much pink, when every 69 seconds a woman is dying of breast cancer in the world … We have 2.5 million breast-cancer survivors alive today. There isn’t nearly enough pink. Get ready for a whole lot more.”

So let there be pink!

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