Get your pink on


Tina Nguyen, Staff Writer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many members of the community are coming together to show their support. As the month approaches, teachers and students are planning various ways to raise awareness about the disease and to fundraise for research, prevention and treatment.

Many students show their support through their sports teams.

“[Girls’ JV volleyball] has a game on Oct. 8 against Herndon for the Dig Pink foundation, which is a major volleyball foundation that collect funds for the cancer research,” sophomore and volleyball player Perri Cooper said. “It’s a fun game; the gym is all decorated.”

Other teams have special attire to honor those who have suffered from breast cancer as well as survivors.

“[Girls’ JV field hockey] has the Pink Out game,” sophomore Caroline Barnes said. “We wear pink headbands and pink shoelaces and play against one of our rivals.”

Some students express their support more personally. Junior Maggie Haas, for example, has a pink ribbon tattooed on her back in honor of her mother who passed away from breast cancer.

“I was really young at that time but I do remember that she was always happy, trying to make the best of everything,” Haas said.

Breast cancer survivors among the school faculty serve as an example of bravery and tenacity for the students.

“I was very lucky with my breast cancer because I found it early,” art department chair Betty Simmons said. “So I encourage people all the time to get mammograms and do what the doctor says. I had to have surgery, but I didn’t have to have radiation and chemotherapy.”

As a survivor, Simmons tries to raise awareness to help others overcome the disease.

“I wear a breast cancer pin on my badge all the time,” Simmons said. “I don’t go out and do anything special, but I’ve had several people contact me who are new breast cancer patients, and I try to help counsel them,”

While the school hosts sports matches to raise money, there are also many community events in order to raise funds and honor breast cancer survivors.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, Cherry Blossom Breast Cancer Foundation’s Cherry Blossom Walk will be held in Ashburn and Middleburg.

American Cancer Society’s Making Strides of Washington D.C. event will be held on Sunday, Oct. 5 at the Washington Monument. So far, as of Sept. 19, the 5k has raised more than $75 thousand with more than 900 participants.

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, the Medical Spa at NOVA’s 5th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness event will be held in Ashburn. Participants will enjoy special spa offers, taste local food and listen to live music. Breast cancer survivors can attend free of charge as special guests of honor. All of the proceeds from these events will go toward supplying tests and treatment for the women of Loudoun County.

Although it is important to raise awareness for breast cancer throughout the year, October provides a special opportunity for students and community members to come together to fight cancer.