I made a trip to the 24-hour Wal-Mart at 10 p.m. Tuesday night. My mission? To buy several yards of pink ribbon and a small box of pins. The purpose? To make as many small pink ribbons as I could to take into my office the next day. The reason? The next day, Wednesday, was Oct. 1. The first day of October. The first day of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And I wanted to make sure that everyone remembered. I wanted to make sure that everyone wore a pink ribbon. I wanted to make sure that everyone was AWARE.
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 180,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among the women in the United States by the end of 1997. An estimated additional 1,400 cases will be diagnosed in men. This year’s estimated mortality rate for breast cancer victims is more than 44,000 women and approximately 300 men.
Wearing a pink ribbon really isn’t going to do anything. I know that. But it’s a symbol. It means that we are tired of losing so many mothers and sisters and girlfriends to this disease. It means that we demand more attention, more research money and more government-funded grants to find a cure and more knowledge of how to beat this thing. It means that we are going to take preventive measures, we are going to nag our friends and family to do the same and we aren’t going to relent until they do. It means we are going to take control.