Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness
Written by Cate Clark, NFHCA Executive Director
The question is no longer “do you know anyone” but unfortunately “who do you know” that has been impacted by breast cancer. I remember getting the call from my mother twenty years ago that breast cancer had invited her to take a daunting and unwelcomed journey. It is estimated that one in eight (12.4 percent) women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. According to breastcancer.org, it is also one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer among women in the U.S. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and an opportunity to promote awareness, celebrate survival, and honor those affected by this disease.
Something so potentially harmful can humble us quickly. It can also inspire us to impact the course of this unexpected disease and act. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to bring attention to the importance of early detection, prevention, and research. It is a time to galvanize communities into acting for awareness and advancing research for “the cure.”
One such example is well illustrated by the Burlington Township High School Field Hockey team and their success in raising awareness through Play4TheCure, a sports fundraising program for the National Foundation for Cancer Research. Play4TheCure inspires athletes and their teams to leverage their passion for sports to “Play4” loved ones affected by cancer and encourages them to actively participate in working to fund cancer research to make a difference.
Hosting their 11th Annual Play4TheCure fundraising campaign this October in Burlington, New Jersey, head coach, and NFHCA member Adrienne DiSipio says the team and parents unite each October to bring awareness to breast cancer. Having raised over $26,000 in the past ten years, the Burlington Township field hockey team sells t-shirts, pink glitter pumpkins, concessions, and other items to contribute to their annual Play4TheCure fundraising efforts. During half-time of their senior night, names of loved ones lost or impacted by breast cancer are announced and honored. Coach DiSipio says “the parents are amazing” in helping coordinate efforts and rally the team for positive fundraising results.
For more information on getting your team involved or contributing to an existing team’s efforts, visit the NFHCA’s Play4theCure page.
Image 1 & 2 courtesy of Burlington Township High School Field Hockey Team
Ways to Think Pink and Get Involved in Breast Cancer Awareness
Here are some additional ways you can “Think Pink” this month. Many teams are dedicating a game and bringing awareness by wearing pink on the field.
Move for the Cure — Register for a walk or run through the Susan G. Komen Foundation or other organizations. Find a race near you here.
Screen for the Cure — Follow health recommendations on screening frequency based on your age and risk factors. Find a screening program near you and share resources with others who may have limited resources. The CDC provides screenings to low-income and underinsured women in the US.
Wear Pink — Support the cause by wearing pink on the sidelines this month. Dedicate a game or weekend of games to increasing breast cancer awareness.
My mom is celebrating 19 years of being cancer-free, thanks to early detection and the continued advancements in treatment. How do you plan to Think Pink this month and help the cause?
Image courtesy of University of Maryland Field Hockey (October 2021 Pink Game)
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a nonprofit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to stimulate the professional development of coaching leadership within the sport of field hockey. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.