Painting the town pink

Queen’s wears pink this month to raise money for the fight against breast cancer

Queen’s Nursing Science Society members President Kathleen Kramer (left) and Social Issues Representative Sarah Estey (right) raise cancer awareness.
Queen’s Nursing Science Society members President Kathleen Kramer (left) and Social Issues Representative Sarah Estey (right) raise cancer awareness.

From wearing pink to changing Facebook statuses, people across Canada are teaming up to take part in Breast Cancer Awareness Month and from Oct. 12 to Oct. 28 the Queen’s Wears Pink campaign will make sure all of campus notices.

A new initiative this year, Queen’s Wears Pink aims to raise funds to combat breast cancer. Throughout October, pink t-shirts with the slogan “Queen’s Wears Pink” will be sold for $10, with proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

“Selling these shirts is an accessible and inexpensive way for students to show their support,” Adam Mitchell, outreach commissioner and Advisory Board chair of the Queen’s Commerce Society, said.

“The primary objective of this campaign is to raise awareness and allow students to support such a worthy cause.”

He said the Commerce Society had no set fundraising goal for the campaign but hopes it will explode on campus.

Oct. 28 will be ‘Pink Day,’ Mitchell said everyone will dress in pink and meet at Tindall Field at 11 a.m. where photographs will be taken of students and faculty united in their support for combating breast cancer.

“Within 28 hours we had over 1,400 people attending Queen’s Wears Pink on Facebook,” Mitchell said. “The most amazing thing is that this campaign is so viral.”

Kathleen Kramer, president of Queen’s Nursing Science Society (QNSS), said QNSS is one of many other on-campus groups teaming up with the Commerce Society to help them raise funds.

“The [Q]NSS has assisted in t-shirt sales throughout the nursing faculty, to both students and staff. The t-shirts say ‘Nursing Wears Pink,’ ” Kramer, Nurs ’11, said.

One in nine Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2010, an estimated 23,200 women and 180 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Canada. An estimated 5,300 women and 50 men will die from breast cancer in Canada this year.

“Breast cancer is an emerging diagnosis for a lot of people,” she said, adding that so far the faculty of nursing has sold over 100 shirts.

“Through t-shirt sales we have already raised awareness within the School of Nursing,” she said. “Many people have become very interested in the statistics and the opportunities available within the Cancer Society.”

Kramer said for many nursing students, breast cancer is a topic that hits close to home.

“The nursing students are exposed to many patients that have been diagnosed with breast cancer during our clinical and community placements, and as such, cancer in general is a topic that is very important to all of us,” she said. “Breast cancer is affecting our moms, sisters, grandmothers and aunts, and now that men are being diagnosed too, it’s also affecting our dads, uncles and brothers.”

The fatality of breast cancer depends on when it is detected, Kramer said. If a woman does a self-breast exam and mentions that she feels a lump in her breast to a doctor, if it turns out to be breast cancer she can start treatment earlier.

“Breast cancer isn’t preventable, but it is treatable,” she said, adding that it’s important for Queen’s organizations to get involved in cancer awareness.

“Over the last year the Nursing Society has become a strong advocate for cancer awareness and research,” Kramer said. “We are a small faculty but a passionate one that enjoys being involved, especially in great causes such as this.” Kramer said the Nursing Society is involved with events like Queen’s Wears Pink, The Inside Ride (Nov. 12) and Run for the Cure (Oct. 3) to raise cancer awareness.

“Cancer is a disease that touches most lives in Canada, whether it’s a diagnosis of self, a friend or a family member. As such, becoming involved in such a great cause helps promote events, fundraisers and shows that as a university we can make a difference,” Kramer said. “This particular campaign is a great way for students to be involved and raise awareness for such a wide spread illness.” Katrina Keilhauer, head manager of Tricolour Outlet, said that while Tricolour did not initiate the campaign they are excited to help out.

“We were contacted by Adam Mitchell to show our support. We aren’t selling shirts but we are wearing shirts that say ‘Tricolour Outlet Wears Pink,’ ” she said. “It’s exciting to get involved. It’s important for us to help out with the campaign because we’ve all been touched by breast cancer.”

Besides the Commerce Society, Nursing Society and Tricolour Outlet, other organizations participating in Queen’s Wears Pink include the Engineering Society, Common Ground, Taps and AMS. Some teams participating include Men’s Hockey, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Lacrosse and Women’s Volleyball.

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