Breast Cancer Awareness

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Quinnipiac University is thinking pink

By on October 10, 2017

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women besides skin cancer.

In fact, about 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society.

“It’s important to raise awareness because cancer impacts all types of people,” senior and president of fraternity Beta Theta Pi Matthew Coughlin said. “It doesn’t discriminate based upon race, sexuality, or whether you’re rich or poor…”

Leyanda DaSilva, a Chartwells employee at Quinnipiac, was recently diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, which has spread to her lymph nodes. DaSilva was originally diagnosed in 2014 and became cancer-free in 2016. The Quinnipiac community is rallying around her and showing DaSilva that she does not have to fight this disease alone.

“It’s the type of thing that can really pull all sorts of communities together,” Coughlin said.

Director of Dining Services Leean Spalding decided that in the month of October, all Chartwells employees will wear baby pink chef hats in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“I decided a simple pink hat was an effective and fun way to show our support for our associates who are breast cancer survivors and our associate who will be a future breast cancer survivor,” Spalding said. “Leyanda is in our prayers every day. Her positive attitude is inspirational. Leyanda shows us that there are positive outcomes to cancer. She is also a reminder that we need to stay vigilant and continue to get annual mammograms.”

For Danielle Radeke, a senior nursing major and hopeful pediatric or obstetric nurse, she is all too familiar with how this disease can affect a loved one.

“I was 13 years old when my mom was diagnosed [with breast cancer] and she has been cancer free for probably close to seven years,” Radeke said. “[But] as a child of a mother that fought and beat breast cancer, I can say firsthand that having community support was what made one of the most difficult parts of my family’s life a little easier to bear, and really inspired me to go into health care and become someone that would, in turn, give support to people that feel alone because of their condition.”

The rate of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. has dropped 39 percent between 1989 and 2015, according to the American Cancer Association. But as a future nurse, she wants a cure to be found or at least continue to have significantly reduced numbers by the time she is truly practicing.

“I want a cure to be found because it is taking away beloved members of our community too early, whether that individual is 30 or 100, it is always too soon,” she said.

Radeke and Coughlin are just two out of the many Quinnipiac students who have been affected by cancer in some way. Radeke watched her mother battle the disease and Coughlin lost his grandparents to other types of cancer.

“It’s tough losing family members to cancer and not just when they pass,” Coughlin said. “The whole process of seeing them go through all the treatments is traumatizing. You see someone who used to be so lively and full of energy be taken to one of their worst states…”

Part of finding a cure means raising awareness for breast cancer but also promoting and raising funds for research toward a cure. The Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association (QSNA) recently raised just under $300 at their annual fundraiser, Pink Hair for Hope on the North Haven Campus.

“We have worked with this cause for the past six years and we are always excited to do it every year,” Quinnipiac Student Nurses Association Co-President Alexandra Hilaris said. “This foundation is special to us because it not only donates to the American Cancer Society, but also donates to other local breast cancer awareness foundations.”

Screenshot courtesy of YouTube
By donating $10, students were able to accessorize their hair with a neon pink hair extension, making their support and awareness for breast cancer evident.

“As Quinnipiac community, it is an unfortunate reality to recognize that each of us has been affected by breast cancer in some way,” Radeke said. “I can almost guarantee that every Bobcat has or unfortunately, will, know someone that has to fight breast cancer, and thus we should be vigilant to find a cure before it touches more lives.”

Although the university does not hold an official campus-wide breast cancer awareness event, the brothers of Beta Theta Pi fraternity do.

“Our event is unique,” Coughlin said. “Life size bowling is not something you see everyday. It’s going to be a huge extravaganza on the quad, you really can’t miss it.”

Their philanthropy event, Beta Bowls For a Cure, is a pink themed Lawn Bowling Tournament, which will be raising money for the American Cancer Society, in particular for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The event will take place Saturday, Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. on Echlin/Tator Lawn. You don’t have to be a part of the Greek Community to participate.

“It’s a great opportunity for students on a Saturday to come out and do something exciting,” Coughlin said. “All the money raised will go to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for the American Cancer Society, so it should be a great turnout with all proceeds going to a great cause.”

While breast cancer rates are still high, there are more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. This includes women still being treated and those who have completed treatment, according to the American Cancer Society. And the students here at Quinnipiac, are doing everything in their power this month to help make a difference.

What you and others can do to participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By: Kaycie Romanello 

Chartwells gets pinked

Photo courtesy of Emma Lareddlow
For the month of October, the employees will be supporting breast cancer for the world, but also for their coworker and dear friend Leyanda DaSilva. Chartwells changed their black hats to pink for breast cancer awareness month. Some even wear pink socks and pins with pink ribbons.

Pink hair for hope with laser medica

LaserMedica, located in North Haven, is bringing awareness by wearing pink hair extensions. Customers can also schedule an appointment for a hair extension of their own for a $10 donation. Laser hair removal will be every Thursday in the month of October for a donation of $50.

Making strides against breast cancer walk

Photo courtesy of Riley Runfola
American Cancer Society will be holding an event for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in New Haven. The walk will be held on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. It will start at the Lighthouse Point Park. Whether donating your time, money or both, everything is contributed to breast cancer research.

Pink Hamden police cars

Two vehicles for the Hamden Police Department were painted pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the entire month of October, the two vehicles will stay pink and drive around Hamden to raise awareness. If you see the cars or anything around Hamden for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, post it with #PaintHamdenPink.

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