By Kathryn Flippin, Life Editor
According to the American Cancer Society, approximately one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime.
While this is largely due to age and gender factors, the ACS, along with the women of Zeta Tau Alpha, promotes breast cancer awareness for all women—and men—in the month of October.
To better promote awareness and understanding of this disease, Zeta hosts Think Pink Week, Oct. 3-8.
“(Zeta members) believe it is important to visualize the gravity of the fact that (breast cancer) can happen to anyone,” said Jodi Garner, junior nursing major and Zeta service chair. “Helping people understand the facts creates awareness as well as compassion for those going through it.”
Each day, they have pushed for a specific goal in the knowledge of breast cancer.
On Tuesday, Zeta held an event, Encourage, promoting the encouragement of current breast cancer patients and their families.
Sandra Maddux, a survivor since 1996, spoke on the support a community can bring.
“When you are in the fight for your life, sometimes you just feel alone,” Maddux said. “It is important to surround yourself with those who care about you.”
Maddux also stressed the importance of young women staying informed.
The ACS states that besides being female, age is the most important risk factor for breast cancer. But the society also says a woman’s breast cancer risk may be higher or lower depending on her personal risk factors and other factors not yet fully understood.
Hannah Strickland, junior elementary education major, said she was surprised by the statistics and said she now feels a greater need to be aware of the facts.
“Mrs. Maddux’s story reminds me how God can work through a situation,” Stickland said. “While she had an amazing prayer group that supported her along the way, her story also made me realize I need to take care of myself, even at an early age.”
Maddux told personal stories to help attendees visualize the life of a breast cancer patient. She said she hoped it would increase their desire to help push for the urgency of a cure. While a cure may be found many years from now, Maddux said she stands by the fact that it will happen eventually. In the meantime, she advocates for awareness.
In the middle of the week, students, faculty and staff were encouraged to give a dollar in honor of someone they might know who is going through or has survived breast cancer. The names were placed on a banner called “Ribbons of Hope.”
Zeta will be pushing the “Save Lids to Save Lives” campaign on Thursday. Everyone will be asked to save their Yoplait yogurt lids throughout the months of October and November and place them in the designated pink posts around campus.
The most supported event in past years, “Pink Out the Campus Day,” will be held on Friday. All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to wear pink in honor of breast cancer awareness.
“You would be surprised how many people are affected by breast cancer,” Garner said. “We hope a day like ‘Pink Out the Campus Day’ shows affected individuals that people do care and want to show their support.”