Northwestern groups help spread breast cancer awareness

Meghan Morris

For Weinberg sophomore and Zeta Tau Alpha philanthropy co-chair Claire Dillon, breast cancer is an issue that hits close to home. Two of her aunts were diagnosed with the disease, and her grandmother passed away after her diagnosis.

“Right now, we’re pretty young so it doesn’t seem like it would directly affect us,” Dillon said. “But when you take a second to think about it, most girls know half a dozen women at least who have been affected by breast cancer.”

Northwestern student organizations asked students to “think pink” this week in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Groups are fundraising and increasing awareness of a disease that will affect one out of every eight women, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Zeta’s “Think Pink” week includes pumpkin carving, daily pink lemonade and cookie sales and a campus-wide “pink-out” on Friday, when the sorority encourages students to wear pink.

Breast cancer awareness is the national sorority’s philanthropy, so the group has other breast cancer awareness events planned throughout the year.

SESP junior Kate Maddox stopped by the lemonade stand, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the Rock and the Arch, on Wednesday.

“I love to support breast cancer awareness,” Maddox said. “My mom was diagnosed last year so I try to do as much as I can.”

The sorority is also handing out pink ribbons and brochures instructing women on breast self-examinations. Doctors recommend women should perform self-examinations every month and have a clinical breast exam every three years starting at age 20, according to the brochure.

Other groups have also planned fundraisers for this month.

Delta Delta Delta will sell donated Jamba Juice smoothies Friday in an event called “Smoothies for Boobies.” Money raised will benefit Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, a charity that has partnered with the sorority for three years, said Bruna Giberti, Tri Delt’s vice president of communications.

“Everyone in some way is connected with someone who has had breast cancer,” Giberti said. “A lot of people don’t know that it’s a lot closer to them than they might think. This is our small contribution to this big movement.”

Both sororities also hosted speakers this week. Zeta held a fireside Wednesday for upperclassmen with the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, who spoke about her research on breast cancer. Tri Delt hosted a speaker from Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, a national nonprofit organization focused on ovarian and breast cancer awareness, during its chapter meeting Monday.

Sororities are not the only groups on campus involved with breast cancer awareness. The men’s club hockey team ordered custom-made pink jerseys for games on Oct. 21 and 22 and will sell them with the hope of raising $2,000.

Head coach Bryan Chamberlain said the team will donate all contributions to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The team will sell 25 jerseys at the minimum price of $50, but Chamberlain said buyers can donate more for the jerseys if they so choose. He said he hopes this fundraiser will become an annual effort by the team and will gladly order more jerseys if there is a demand.

“Every single person has been touched (by breast cancer) or had it affect them, so it really hits home,” Chamberlain said.

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