PDT Staff Writer
October is the month when many think pink for Breast Cancer Awareness. Southern Ohio Medical Center perpetuated that line of thought with their ‘Paint It Pink’ campaign hosting a series of events and activities during the course of the month.
“This originated four years ago. We had it at the Cancer Center in April and it was started by the Maults, who lost their mother to breast cancer. I got involved and said this would be even more successful if we move it to October and get really pink about it,” Wendi Waugh of SOMC said.
Saturday’s 5k race was a clear example of the message being sent by those wearing pink.
“We had 207 people register and this is only our second year and that is amazing. This whole campaign has been awesome,” Waugh said.
According to Waugh, 7,000 ‘Paint It Pink’ T-shirts were sold this year up 2,000 from last year’s T-Shirt sales.
“This year, I could not keep them, I could have sold more which says a lot about the amount of support that we get from this community,” Waugh said.
Waugh said the proceeds raised from the T-shirt sales are not exclusively for breast cancer.
“I want to stress that this fundraiser is the only fundraiser we do all year long for the Compassion Fund and it does not just benefit breast cancer survivors. It benefits all breast cancer patients under current treatment,” said.
Lacosta Craig of Portsmouth was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. She is now a breast cancer survivor.
Craig participated in the ‘Paint It Pink’ 5K, along with her husband Jeff Craig, and daughters Lacyra and Layla Craig, and Julie and Summer Rouse.
“I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. It took one year and three months to complete, so I am a two-year survivor. It just lifts my spirits up to know that people care,” Craig said.
Craig said her experience has made her more appreciative of life and spending time with her family.
Carla Womack said she participated in the Paint It Pink 5k in memory of her mother.
“I walked for my mother who died of breast cancer at the age of 34. My sister Felicia, and her daughter Tamara participated as well. This year I did not come in last,” Womack said.
The Paint It Pink campaign continued throughout the afternoon with Pink Zumbathon in Tracy Park and the Party in the Park.
According to Waugh, the Ceremonial Pink March which showcases breast cancer was canceled this year due to rain and cool temperatures.
Portia Williams may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 286 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Portia on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.