Pink October – many of us wear the pink t-shirt, bake the pink cupcake… but how many of us truly stop to think what that pink ribbon really means? That pretty, pink ribbon symbolises a reality much darker than its colour. It’s a symbol of loss and victory, of hardship and bravery, of grief and survival. Wearing it, or adding it to your profile picture throughout October shows solidarity with those who have experienced breast cancer. But how can we give this ribbon the respect it truly deserves?
Yes, you can upload pictures with your colleagues dressed in pink. Sure, you can wear that pink ribbon. These actions will definitely help to bring about awareness, which is the main point. However, there is more that you can do as an office that could make a real difference.
Organise an office event which will help you to raise funds for Cancer Research. This could be anything from a walk, run or even a party (which could also involve family and friends). Participants will donate a minimum fee and all proceeds can go towards Breast Cancer Research. If the organisation of such an event seems a bit daunting, then a simple cake sale could also work well, whereby employees bring in their bakes and sell them to their colleagues. To remain in theme, ice the cakes in pink.
The funds needn’t necessarily be collected for a foundation. You may also want to collect funds for a specific family for instance, who are going through hard times because of breast cancer.
Buy them, recycle them or knit them yourselves. The majority of cancer patients lose their hair when going through treatment and often wear a hat or headscarf once they do. You can be sure that your collection will be appreciated by foundations that provide support and care to patients suffering from cancer.
Share the knowledge
This is probably the most important one, and can actually save lives. Circulate information about breast cancer via your work channels throughout the month of October. For instance, you could share 2 facts a week about breast cancer amongst each other… or if you want to go big, on your social media platforms.
Support a local initiative
This October, Hospice Malta is encouraging local businesses to donate €1 for breast cancer patients. The donations will allow Hospice Malta to continue helping patients and their families and will also go towards the building of St. Michael Hospice – the new Hospice complex which is expected to open towards the end of 2022. For more information about this you can visit: www.hospicemalta.org
Finally… here are some facts
In keeping with what I am suggesting, here are some facts about breast cancer taken from the American Cancer Society. Feel free to print and hang them up in your boardroom / break room throughout Pink October. The numbers are shocking and help us to understand more, so that we can give the pink ribbon the respect and sense of gravitas it deserves.
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women worldwide
- 1 in 8 women receive a breast cancer diagnosis
- On average, every 2 minutes a female is diagnosed with breast cancer
- 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes
- Alcohol use increases the risk of breast cancer
- Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the U.S. today
- An estimated 2,470 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer
- 1 in 1,000 men will receive a breast cancer diagnosis
- Breast cancer occurrence and death rates generally increase with age
- Only 5-10% of individuals diagnosed have a family history of breast cancer
So start that conversation, and spread the awareness this Pink October – it may save a life.
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