Hope begins with Men in Pink

Published 4:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2015

Today is the first day of breast cancer awareness month, and it’s also the kickoff for the Relay for Life fundraising season.

During October, men are encouraged to join Pike County’s Men in Pink campaign to raise awareness and funding for the 2016 Relay for Life.

“The main thing is that this campaign will bring awareness for breast cancer,” said Leigh Anne Windham, co-chair on the Relay for Life board. “October is breast cancer awareness month, and this is a great opportunity to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.”

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Men participating will wear something pink everyday in October, encourage the women in their lives to seek screening for early detection and intervention, encourage those women to tell someone new every day and make a “grand gesture” by raising at least $1,000 before Oct. 31 for the American Cancer Society.

These men will also be wearing a tag each day that says “Ask me why,” so they have more opportunities to spread awareness.

Windham said that at least 16 men have already agreed to participate.

“All these men are very involved in the community and are very visible,” Windham said, emphasizing their impact in spreading awareness. She said that anyone is welcome and encouraged to join the campaign.

One participant, Ben Busbee, director of Charles Henderson Child Health Center, is already planning his “grand gesture.”

“The last week of October, I’m going to attempt to run six miles and ride a bike for 60 miles in six hours,” Busbee said. Busbee will collect pledges for each mile he completes.

“My dad died of colon cancer when he was my age,” Busbee said. “I’m doing this in his honor. I want to promote the message for Men in Pink this month and promote the importance of men’s health and fitness and staying active.”

So, why men? Most think of women when breast cancer awareness is brought up in conversation.

“It’s important because everyone is effected,” said Brittney Meyer, PR and marketing representative for the Relay for Life board. “What about their daughters, sisters, mothers, etc.? They can raise awareness for them.”

Men may also be the ones taking care of the women diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Men are the main caregivers for the women that have breast cancer,” said Deedie Carter, co-chair on the Relay for Life board. “Breast cancer doesn’t just affect women.”

Men also can be affected by breast cancer. In 2014, an estimated 2,360 men were diagnosed with breast cancer, according to statistics from the American Cancer Society.

Pike County’s Men in Pink Campaign is only the beginning of the fundraising efforts for Relay for Life. After the Men in Pink Campaign, the Relay board will begin to develop teams for the relay.