Resources At UAB, St. Vincent’s Bruno Cancer Center & More, Pink Up The Pace 5K To Benefit Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama
The Retreat at Mountain Brook luxury apartment complex in Birmingham, Alabama, is joining the fight against cancer by promoting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NCBAM) this October, turning its fountain pink and sharing news and information with residents of the upscale apartment complex and surrounding community.
Events & Efforts
Fundraising events and awareness for breast cancer research seem to take place year-round throughout Greater Metro Birmingham thanks to the area’s strong medical community, many of whose members call the Retreat at Mount Brook home.
One that is always fun is the now-Fourth Annual Pink Up The Pace 5K and 1 Mile Fun Run put on by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama (BCRFA) to raise funds and awareness for the local, life-saving research being done at the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB. The in-person run will take place Sunday, November 7, 2021, beginning at 2 p.m. at Crestline Field on Vine Street; the virtual distance challenge is going on through October until November 6.
And speaking of fun, as reported by CBS 42, Birmingham Fire & Rescue has a special pink truck named “Corrine” that is serving the community and spreading awareness about both breast cancer and fire safety and prevention throughout the month of October.
O’Neal Cancer Center At UAB
With community support, the BCRFA has provided almost $11 million for life-saving breast cancer research and treatments in Alabama. The foundation’s most recent contribution for research was $1.05 million in January of 2021 thanks to the support of donors, sponsors, and partners.
For every dollar raised and donated by the BCRFA, the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB is able to generate at least $14 in federal funding. It is Alabama’s only cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute and is a national leader in driving cancer research, advancing new cancer treatments, engaging communities in cancer prevention and early detection initiatives, and training the next generation of cancer physicians and scientists.
Pumpkin Spice & Everything Pink & Nice
These days, with “Fight Like a Girl” T-shirts and bracelets available almost everywhere we look in October (kinda like pumpkin spice), it can be hard to imagine a time when we didn’t talk something that impacts so many people. Former U.S. First Lady Betty Ford was the one who led the change on this front—we’ll share a little bit more about her later in the blog.
Fortunately, in addition to public conversations and acceptance—and cute accessories that may or may not help fund medical research (think before you pink!)—there are now also resources to help breast cancer patients as they go through months of treatments that can bring on great mental, physical, and emotional tolls.
St. Vincent’s Bruno Cancer Center Breast Cancer Support Group
One of those resources is the Breast Cancer Support Group at St. Vincent’s Bruno Cancer Center, which provides education and support both for those living with breast cancer and the significant people in their lives. Participants are encouraged to attend at any point in the diagnosis and treatment journey. The group meets the second Tuesday of every month in the Bruno Conference Center from noon to 1:30pm.
Small Tag, Big Difference
Another important resource is the Alabama Department of Public Health’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (ABCCEDP), to which the Joy to Life Foundation contributes funding. More than 80 percent of the proceeds from the purchase of a Joy To Life (JTL) pink license plate go toward providing mammograms, biopsies, ultrasounds, and office visits to men and women in desperate need throughout the state’s 67 counties. It has helped to fund over 96,000 mammograms and save hundreds of lives. And for many, it serves as a reminder every time they see it that early detection is saving lives. That’s a small tag making a big difference!
How It All Began With Betty
The annual effort to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer was established in 1985 as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, a leading manufacturer of oncology drugs). Former U.S. First Lady Betty Ford was the face of the campaign; she had changed how the country talked about this once-taboo women’s health topic when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a radical mastectomy in 1974, just seven weeks into her husband Gerald Ford’s unexpected tenure as president of the United States after the resignation of Watergate scandal-disgraced Richard Nixon.
Within hours of the operation, the White House held a press conference sharing the details of her surgery—including the good news that, largely because the cancer had been detected early, Mrs. Ford’s prognosis was excellent. According to History, what happened next was remarkable. “Women across the country lined up outside clinics to get breast exams; newspaper articles described how to perform self-exams; and in the first week after Betty’s surgery alone, the White House received more than 35,000 cards and letters.”