Local organizations raising awareness for breast cancer
Members of Airdrie’s Fire Department are sporting a new look.
This month, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many firefighters have replaced their collared black shirts with pink T-shirts.
“Three years ago, one of our member’s wives had breast cancer and since then we have been doing the program,” said Shaun Parke, public relations coordinator for Airdrie’s Professional Firefighters Association (APFFA).
The APFFA purchased the shirts for the firefighters, but residents can also take part in the program.
Parke explained the T-shirts are available to purchase for $25 at any of Airdrie’s fire stations and he encourages residents to get involved.
“The purchase of these T-shirts supports people currently in the fight (against breast cancer) and researching for ending the disease, but more importantly to raise awareness,” said Parke.
Brenda Moon, a breast cancer survivor and official spokesperson for the Calgary’s 12th annual CIBC Run for the Cure in 2009, said it is good to get the word out about the disease.
Moon said a number of organizations, including professional and amateur football leagues, take part in the awareness campaign.
“Through the teams all wearing their pink gloves, boots… mouthguards… it reminds me how prevalent (breast cancer) is,” said Moon. “It also reminds me that more and more people are understanding what it is about.”
Moon was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago and the disease has been in remission for 10 years. Moon is now an advocate for breast health and reminds women 40 and older that knowing their own bodies and going for yearly mammograms is imperative.
According to Moon, an annual mammogram was the reason her cancer was caught so early.
“I do thank the Lord every day that I am here,” said Moon. “It’s a message of hope.”
Local grocery store, Safeway, is also partnering with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
CBCF volunteers will be selling Pink Ribbon Pink Ups, a vintage pin-up style calendar for $10.99 at the Canada Safeway throughout the month of October.
The calendar highlights breast cancer survivors of all ages and walks of life and promotes a healthy body image for women during and after breast cancer treatment. All proceeds from the calendar will go to the CBCF.
“It’s a celebration of women who have… survived breast cancer,” said Nicole Turenne, manager of marketing and community for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Prairie and NWT region. “These women are very proud of what they have gone through. It is a strong message of hope from people who have lived with it and survived.”
This month, Safeway Canada is also partnering with Food Network chef Ricardo, whose wife is a breast cancer survivor, to create additional funds and awareness for the foundation.
Safeway customers are invited to make a contribution at the checkout. When a $2 contribution is made, customers will receive a limited edition Ricardo recipe book and five AIR MILES reward miles.
Ricardo and Canada Safeway will also dedicate 25 per cent of the sales of the Ricardo cookware line to the CBCF.
Turenne encourages people to take part in the Safeway campaigns.
“It is just a really great way to get involved and show your support,” she said, adding that volunteers are also needed to sell the calendars. “Our vision is creating a future without breast cancer… it is a great way to come out and support the cause and join the movement.”
Over $9.6 million has been raised by Canada Safeway for the CBCF during the past 10 years. The money has gone to research and early detection.
Turenne said more people are surviving breast cancer.
“Since 1986, the breast cancer death rate has decreased by about 40 per cent and it is currently at its lowest since 1950,” she said. “The likelihood of a woman living five years out is 88 per cent. It does demonstrate that what we have been doing has been working.”
For more information about the CBCF, visit www.cbcf.org
To volunteer for the foundation, visit firstname.lastname@example.org