Giving Back at the Pink Ribbon Luncheon

Pink Ribbon Luncheon
Pink Ribbon Luncheon
Me and some of my staff at the 2012 Pink Ribbon Luncheon.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it is important that we all do what we can to support efforts to end a disease that affects so many people. About 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and the toll the disease takes on those women and their families is devastating. Here is how I am doing my part.

On Thursday, September 27, I attended the Pink Ribbon Luncheon, an event sponsored in part by Pure Romance. This was the eleventh year for the Pink Ribbon Luncheon, and this year they outdid themselves. From start to finish, the event was informative, touching, and fun.

I always like to learn because knowledge leads to growth, so I was thrilled to attend a panel discussion of local doctors. They spoke about health issues that all women face, including bodily changes after menopause and the pros and cons of hormone therapy. I’ve attended several panels like this one, and often I find myself lost in medical jargon, but that was not the case with these doctors. They talked plainly to the audience and answered questions commonly asked by their female patients.

As the doctors spoke, I looked around at the other women in attendance. I saw a room full of nodding heads and interested faces. Their reactions told me they were empowered with information to think about and take to their personal doctors. It’s moments like these that remind me why it is important to always stay a student.

Following the panel was lunch and an auction to raise money for breast cancer prevention and services to women diagnosed with breast cancer. The Pink Ribbon funds imaging centers, provides financial support to women who otherwise could not afford mammograms, and even offers transportation to treatment with its “Cruisin’ for a Cure” program.

The auction itself was energetic to the point of being dizzying—the bidding moved fast enough to cause whiplash. The crowd pledged thousands of dollars to fight breast cancer in exchange for exclusive experiences like a trip to the 2014 Ryder Cup golf event in Scotland. The giving was overwhelming. No wonder the Pink Ribbon luncheons have raised over $2 million since 2002.

After the auction, country music superstar Martina McBride performed. She left the entire crowd—myself included—awestruck by the power of her voice, and brought tears to every eye in the house when she performed her hit song, “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.” The song tells the tale of a woman battling breast cancer, and has become an anthem that strikes a chord with families struggling through the disease. The raw emotion I felt while she sang gave me goose bumps.

I left the Pink Ribbon Luncheon renewed with the collected strength of people joining together for a common good. I know that we have eons to go in making breast cancer a thing of the past, but together we are a force. I carried that momentum to my next Breast Cancer Awareness Month event. Check back next week to read all about it.

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