Despite it’s girlishness, the color pink is the color of a warrior, a color that shows support and solidarity and offers a sign of hope. And more than any other time of the year, October is a month awash in this once overly-feminized color while we as a country stand together in the fight, knowing that the threat is real, but by no means is it an unconquerable foe. As Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October has become the official reminder not to surrender in our vigilance, to push ever forward in our search for a cure and to raise a flag in our march to victory so that the ones entrenched in the battle are not left to stand alone.
All across the country, businesses donate portions of their profits to raise funding for research and reminders are redoubled to make an appointment for annual mammograms or to conduct regular self exams. Charity walks march across the map, both literally and figuratively, as men, women, and children lace up in a dedicated effort to show unwavering support and honor to those who have fought the fight and won; to those who are still engaged with the enemy; to those who have been lost to the insidious and heartbreaking diagnosis. Pink ribbons have become like a badge of courage, sending an unspoken message that we have not forgotten and that we will never give up until we’ve won the war and the world is no longer under the shadow of the disease that so cruelly robs us of our wives, our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, and our friends.
Fortunately, as time progresses, so too, does the efficacy of our efforts to eradicate the disease. Recent years have seen a marked upswing in the scientific research dedicated to finding cures, developing treatments, and making more accurate diagnoses. As a result, we’ve identified new preventative measures and developed innovative new methods for earlier detection so that the words “breast cancer” are no longer synonymous with an un-winnable war. But still, the fight must go on, for far too many women—and even some men—still face a reality that could steal their hope of a long and healthy life.
As October blushes into all shades of pink, let us all be reminded that this is not a color to be donned one month out of the year, just as it is not a fight limited to the confines of a calendar. It is an ongoing effort, a continuous campaign that needs our vigilance every single day of the year until we have finally conquered and finally won, until pink is the color of lasting victory. More than anything, the women represented by this color are not to be pitied or to be seen as fragile, for they are warriors with immeasurable strength and indomitable spirit, women who represent the human spirit and what it can overcome when those around them offer love, support, understanding, and hope.
Lace up for Austin Peay State University’s 8th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness 5k, October 20, 2018! For more information, visit www.apsu.edu