It’s 7am at Fashion Island and all around us are sparkly pink wigs, marching bands, pink tutus and angel wings. Happy smiling cheerleaders from 5 years old up to high school cheer us on. We are surrounded by teams with names like Breast Friends, Happy Hooters and Hakuna Ma Ta Ta getting ready to walk or run. Dr. Oz is heard over a loud speaker telling us why we are here. We are at the 20th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Orange County. Over 25,000 people from all walks of life coming together to raise money to make sure low-income women can get mammograms. An estimated 250,000 women will be diagnosed with some form of breast cancer each year and tragically over 40,000 of them will be claimed by the disease. We need to be out there doing something!
60+ members from the Girl Scouts of Orange County team gather in their green and pink t-shirts. We are celebrating the 100 year anniversary of Girl Scouting and honoring the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low, who lost her fight with breast cancer in 1927. My girls in Troop 499 dedicated our walk to a friend and Girl Scout leader Lorraine Grob. Lorraine, who is winning her battle with breast cancer due to early detection, came to cheer for us on our 5K adventure. We had an awesome day of friends, teamwork and exercise.
Since the days when Juliette Low was alive, much has changed in the treatment of breast cancer. We are not afraid to talk about it outloud and to educate the next generation of girls how to be proactive in it’s prevention. They will know what foods to eat and chemicals to avoid to stay healthy. They will learn to fight against a disease that strikes at their very identity as a woman. Even though millions of dollars are raised every year that fund research aimed at finding a cure, simple awareness and early detection are our best defense against breast cancer.
Troop leaders interested in educating their Girl Scouts about breast cancer, can try the Girl Scouts USA “In the Pink” Interest Project. The point of the interest project is to help girls:
- Develop a healthy life style
- Understand the importance of early detection of breast cancer
- Discover inter-generational risk for breast cancer by reasearching your own family’s history
- Provide valuable service opportunities focusing on breast cancer awareness in their own community
We’ve all lost someone we love to cancer. Keep the doors to awareness open with your daughters. Education will keep them healthy, and they need to understand how important it is for them and the women in their lives, to do any preventitive measures available to help prevent all types of cancer, not just breast cancer.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Stay aware, educated and empowered!
For more information on the prevention and treatment of breast cancer please check out these helpful links
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (www.komen.org)
- The National Breast Cancer Foundation (www.nationalbreastcancer.org)
- The American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org)
- National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (www.nbcam.org)