A Sea of Pink

Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A sea of pink people. That’s pretty much all you saw at this past Sunday’s Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to raise monies for breast cancer.

Thousands of people: patients, survivors, families, nurses, doctors, friends, police, EMTs, advocates, volunteers, reporters and so many others who are concerned. And in case you didn’t know there was such a thing as pink wigs and hats, pink socks and laces, pink sneakers and loafers, pink shirts and pins, pink ties and bows, pink glasses and barrettes, you saw them all that day.

But the day wasn’t about style. And it wasn’t about matching. And it wasn’t about beauty. It was about support in the most visible way that individuals could collectively join to express their desire to do something about the most frequent malignancy facing women today: breast cancer. What was remarkable that day was the ability to look down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and actually see – actually feel – the number of people that this disease has touched. It was overwhelming.

Collectively there were ‘teams’ everywhere; groups of people banded together to voice concern or support louder than any of them could do individually. Like Fox Chase Cancer Center’s team, there were teams from other hospitals, teams from law offices, teams from businesses, teams to support a family member, teams to remember a loved one. And you knew it by the innumerable signs, matching printed t-shirts or buttons, and a friendly smile and chatter that is common to those working together towards a goal.

But while a select few with a microphone have become cynical, or even bitter,questioning the true benefit of this cause, I can think of no more valuable an effort for this Mothers’ Day. Sure, there remain challenges in fighting breast cancer, but the strides we have made could not have been done without the monolithic mindset of so many people all focused on that single vision.

So think ahead. Think next year. Think pink, as they say. Do something to fund the fight, and fight the disease. And if you can join us on next Mothers’ Day, even better. I promise you it doesn’t get any more rewarding than this … with a few thousand of your closest friends.

1 New York Times, 4/25/2013


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About Richard J. Bleicher, MD, FACS

Dr. Richard Bleicher is an Associate Professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology and the Director of the Breast Fellowship Training Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center. 

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