Editorial: Our Flag Is Pink

To our readers, please take note that for the rest of the month of October, our flag (what many think of as a masthead) will be printed in pink, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month; a month dedicated to bringing awareness of the disease and to raising funds for research.

The facts: breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. In the United States alone, it is estimated that every year more than 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die. Those numbers are too high.

There is some good news. Since 1990, the death rate from breast cancer has been declining. This is due to better screening that allows earlier detection and treatment options. And that is a main point of Breast Cancer Awareness Month to make sure that women are aware of the disease and how to be screened for it early, so that if there is an issue it can be treated as soon as possible which will offer the best chances for recovery.

Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is very visible in our town. As you go about town this month look for pink! A pink flag was raised at Town Hall on October 1. Walk down Greenwich Avenue and notice all the stores with the “Go for Pink” placards in their windows.

This awareness is due in large part to the good work of Breast Cancer Alliance. This powerful, non-profit breast cancer foundation was started in Greenwich in 1996 by Mary Waterman and five friends. When Mary was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, she wanted to create a local organization that would have an impact on heightening awareness of the benefits of early detection, as well as raise money to support research and education.

Over the course of the past 25 years, Breast Cancer Alliance has done much to educate Greenwich. Every spring, it organizes a 5K Race For Hope as well as an annual golf outing. Later this month they will host their annual luncheon and fashion show. Ticket information can be found on their website. It is not to be missed!

However, that is not all the BCA does. Since its inception they have raised and distributed more than $30 million. They have four types of grants that they give annually: Young Investigator Grants, Breast Surgery Fellowships, and Education and Outreach Grants. If you look at their website, you will see these grants are given throughout the country and having a significant impact.

Yonni Wattenmaker, Executive Director of the BCA, and her staff do an amazing job and are to be congratulated. Yonni, who celebrated her 10th year anniversary with the BCA last year, is a tireless advocate for organization.

The BCA’s slogan is “New Research. New Treatments. New Promise.” It’s a good one. As their website says, the BCA “is the powerful private breast cancer foundation making a national impact through major investments in early-stage research, fellowships, education and support.”

We our happy that our country has dedicated a month to bringing awareness to breast cancer. We are grateful to and proud of the Breast Cancer Alliance for all the work they accomplish in our town and across the country to educate and inform us on this life altering topic and in their research funding. Thank you, Breast Cancer Alliance for turning Greenwich pink this month. Keep up the great job. And, for the rest of us? We should make sure we keep this conversation going throughout the year.

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