That little pink ribbon. We have all seen it every year in October, and most people are aware that it is associated with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. However, not as many are aware of its roots and its goals.
Who Started it?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month began in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries. Betty Ford helped kick off the week-long event, as she was herself a survivor of breast cancer. She was diagnosed when her husband, Gerald Ford, was president of the United States and brought even more attention to breast cancer.
What is the Goal?
The early goal of Breast Cancer Awareness Month was to educate women about breast cancer and early detection tests so that they could take charge of their breast health. One of their key goals that they wanted to achieve was to promote mammograms as an important tool to be used in the fight against breast cancer.
During the month of October, breast cancer survivors and those with breast cancer are celebrated and encouraged to share their stories. The month is also dedicated to raising funds for breast cancer research and other related causes.
The Pink Ribbon
The first nation-wide campaign that utilized the pink ribbon was back in 1992 by Estée Lauder cosmetics. They handed out an impressive 1.5 million of them and ushered in the pink ribbon as the premier visual reminder of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NFL has become one of the largest supporters of breast cancer awareness month and nearly all players, coaches, and referees don the pink ribbon each October to show their support.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance for all Americans to take time and acknowledge those men and women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer.