According to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her life. With this truth in mind, UCSB students came out in full force for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, sporting everything from “I <3 Boobies” pins to literature about breast cancer prevention.
Here’s what happened during October, or Breast Cancer Awareness month:
Kappa Kappa Gamma had their fourth annual, 5-kilometer Kappa Dash on Oct. 17, where participants started at Greek Park on Picasso and wound their way through parts of Isla Vista and UCSB, finally ending at the Kappa Kappa Gamma house. Participants were asked to donate $12 to enter with all of the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Santa Barbara Breast Cancer Early Detection Program.
Over 60 organizations were represented at the event, including 24 Hour Fitness, Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, and Radisson Hotels and Resorts. Food, prizes, activities, and a DJ were present to encourage people to join.
First year sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma, and Pink Link Breast Cancer and Research Club teamed up to host an educational talk and candle-light vigil on Oct. 22 from 7:30-10 p.m. in the Anacapa Formal Lounge and patio area. Buttons that said “I <3 Bobbies” were given out as prizes and the Anacapa Residence Hall sold t-shirts. Free food was donated from local Isla Vista businesses, like IV Drip.Â
The evening started off with UCSB Molecular, Cellular, and Development Biology professor, Dr. George Ayoub, speaking to a crowd of 50 men and women about what cancer is and outside influences that can increase the risk of acquiring cancer. After the talk, the large group broke off into four smaller groups to talk about breast cancer facts and how everyday cosmetics, as well as poor diet and lack of exercise, can increase the risk of this condition.
A candle-light vigil followed, where everyone was presented with a candle upon moving to the outdoor patio area. Each person then stated what breast cancer meant to them and put their candle down to form the shape of a ribbon.
Alpha Kappa Delta Phi held a fundraiser inside the Student Resource Building’s multipurpose room on Oct. 28 from 10-3 p.m., where they sold t-shirts, bracelets, and raffle tickets to raise money for Susan G. Komen. They offered free food and asked for the pink lids of the yogurts they distributed.
They also invited other clubs and organizations to come table at the event.
“Alpha Kappa Delta Phi contacted us and asked us to table for this event, which is breast cancer fundraising,” said Taylor Braun, the Pink Link Public Relations Chair. “We gave out our educational material and talked to people about our Beautiful You Campaign.” Alpha Kappa Delta Phi had a PowerPoint presentation that they showed, including frequently asked questions about breast cancer.
On Oct. 21, the UCSB Activities Fair hosted various college organization booths, including those belonging to Colleges Against Cancer, Sigma Lamda Gamma, and Pink Link. These cancer-related organizations were giving out information and literature about breast cancer awareness and research that has been going on in the community.
The Santa Barbara Cancer Center hosted their 17th Annual Run/Walk in Downtown Santa Barbara on Oct. 18 starting at 8 a.m. This was the first time that UCSB students were represented in the race and each were given a $100 sponsorship from former UCSB faculty member, Carla Witacre. Two members of Pink Link Club were sent to the race: Paula Higginson and Daisy Bugarin.
“It was a lot of fun,” Higginson said. “There was a good energy. It was nice to see a bunch of people coming together for one cause.”
This was the first race that either student had participated in while living in Santa Barbara and both claim to have had a memorable experience.
“We were walking down this hill and when you looked up, you could see so many people,” said Bugarin. “It really sunk in how many people were there; there’s no way to describe it.”
The CCSB Run/Walk website reported that over $131,000 was raised, all of which is going to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara research program.
For those who want to get involved in breast cancer awareness, there are activities, events, and seminars that aren’t just in October.
UCSB Professor, Erkki Ruoslahti, received a $2.8 million award from the Department of Defense to further his research on the detection and therapies via nanotechnology for breast cancer.
“We envision that the cure for breast cancer can be achieved by strategically integrating early detection with synergistic therapies,” said Ruoslahti in a press release. “We believe that nanotechnology-based engineering solutions can provide the needed changes to drastically improve cure rates.”
Relay for Life is another way that students can get involved. This year, Relay will be on May 14, 2010 at the UCSB Track. Relay is held by the American Cancer Society and is a 24-hour event in which each team is given a set amount of money to raise in order to participate. Teams can be campus clubs, residence halls, sororities/fraternities, or just a group of friends!
The Santa Barbara Breast Cancer Resource Center on West Junipero St. in Downtown Santa Barbara has a series of lectures and events that they host throughout the year. To find out more about what will be going on in the future, visit their website at www.bcrcsb.org .
Students can also join on-campus clubs whose mission is to fight breast cancer.