In 1985 the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical department at Imperial Chemical Industries, responsible for creating a number of anti-breast cancer medications, partnered together in the fight against breast cancer and began educating others through National Breast Cancer Awareness Month held every October.
The color pink became the color symbol for breast cancer in 1991 after the Susan G. Komen Foundation distributed pink ribbons to breast cancer survivors at a race held in New York City. Since that time, numerous individuals, groups, organizations and businesses across the nation have gone pink and joined forces to raise funds and educate people about breast cancer, early detection and finding a cure.
Employees of the Manteca Unified School District (MUSD) have joined forces in the fight against breast cancer as well over the years. However for the past three years, district employees have become even more passionate about breast cancer awareness after one of their fellow employees, Faustina Rosas passed way from the disease.
“I think I can speak for most people by saying that we have all at one point been affected by this terrible disease and hope for a cure one day” said district employee Kelly Cardoza.
Throughout the month of October, MUSD employees participate in weekly fundraisers and activities such as their kickoff event earlier this month All Pink Day where employees dressed in as much pink as they possibly could. Cardoza herself sported pink attire a long with a lengthy pink wig as a sign of support.
Other fundraisers and activities include selling bags of cookies, popcorn, breakfast sandwiches and raffle tickets for gift baskets in addition to a mini relay put on by the Nutrition Education Department, in which employees walk about the district office campus while wearing pink. After the walk, participants are provided with a healthy snack to restore their energy before focusing on raising more funds through selling magnets, necklaces, key chains, pens and more.
During the month of October employees are not only encouraged to wear pink but also the color of the cancer that holds a special significance to them personally such as violet for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, orange for Leukemia or dark blue for colon cancer to name a few.
“We recognize that breast cancer is not the only cancer that affects us and our lives. I personally support lung and ovarian cancer in memory of my cousin Jowell Griggs and my aunt Alice Umbalin.” shared Cardoza.
For district employees, October is all about remembering, informing and supporting Breast Cancer in any way possible. Employees conclude their month of activities with a Pink Pot-Luck Breakfast where gift baskets are raffled off while employees enjoy a hot breakfast in a pink-filled conference room.
Having participated on the Breast Cancer Awareness committee for the past four years at the district office, this is the first year that Cardoza was in charge of planning all the activities, organizing the fundraisers and sending out the email reminders of the upcoming events and admits that it couldn’t have been done without the help of co-workers Luisa Paulo, Sarah Morris, Yvonne Grabowski, Teresa Rieb, Rayanne Tamayo and Stephanie Huff.
Fortunately all the hard work to make Breast Cancer Awareness Month successful has paid off. Last year the district raised $2,000 and anticipates doing the same if not more this year.
To learn how you can help the Manteca Unified School District raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month contact Kelly Cardoza at 209.858.0814 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.