The color pink has easily become recognized as the color representing breast cancer. According to pinkribbon.org, the original breast cancer color was peach, when a breast cancer survivor attached the peach ribbon to cards to grow awareness for the fight against the disease.
The pink ribbon was originated by the Susan G. Komen Foundation when it distributed them at a New York City race in the early 1990s. The editor-in-chief of Self Magazine and Estee Lauder Cosmetics teamed up to make the ribbon become a national symbol to coincide with October as national Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Locally, Friday was Pink Warren County Day with several businesses sporting pink ribbons and balloons in support of the cause.
Terry Pardue and Heather Myers with Pro-Clean Solutions Cleaning Services, along with their co-worker Kyle Van Patten, have made a choice to show their support. They are wearing custom-made pink shirts this month to work, and are donating $1 for each job they do the entire month of October.
“Breast cancer has touched all of us in one way or another,” said Myers. “Kyle’s mother is a survivor, my aunt and friend have experienced it, and Terry has a cousin who has had the disease. We just want to do our part.”
Today is Pink Sunday, with some church congregations sporting pink ribbons and clothing, as well as sermons focusing on the fight and courage displayed from victims of the disease.
Downtown McMinnville is especially pink, with large, vertical pink banners placed around Court Square, all compliments of Butch Stamps. The historic fountain’s lights have been changed to a soft shade of pink, and the color is especially visible at night.
Warren County native Courtney Martin is flying high nowadays as she is a flight attendant with Delta Airlines. The airline is a supporter of breast cancer awareness and has made pink uniforms possible for its attendants.
Martin said, “I am honored to work for an airline that shows so much support for this cause. This year I wear this pink dress for my grandmother, Betty Jo Martin.”
Mammograms are one of the best ways to check for breast cancer in women who have no signs of symptoms of the disease. A mammogram is an X-ray picture of the breast tissue.
Local resident Billie Jo Hobbs is a shining example that mammograms work.
“They found my cancer through a mammogram in 1992,” said Hobbs. “I had a mammogram every year from when I was 40 years old. I never had a history of it. None of my family ever had it. Regardless, I had a mammogram every year. I had my mammogram on a Friday and they found it. On Monday, I had my surgery. I had reconstruction on that. Every three months, I had to have a mammogram to make sure everything is good.”
Hobbs and her husband lived in St. Louis at the time. She says her friend was not as dedicated to the annual exams.
“I had a friend who went with me to get the mammograms,” said Hobbs. “She would go with me but she never got one. I would beg her to, but she always said no. Not long after we moved from St. Louis, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and died from it. They didn’t catch it in time. To me, it’s essential that you get to it in time. The way to do that is getting yearly mammograms and doing your own self-exams between those.”