No One Fights Alone


Mya Hibsman, Staff Writer

October is coming to an end already! As many of you already know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Every October, people worldwide share their support for those affected by breast cancer. Here at our high school, we participate in small activities to show our support for breast cancer. One day during October, the staff members dressed in pink in support of the cause. On Friday, October 21st, the student section participated in a pink-out theme to raise awareness and show support for anyone affected by breast cancer, including those with breast cancer, those who know someone diagnosed with it, or those who are close to someone who has breast cancer. 

As many people know, when October rolls around, it is time to pull out pink clothing. Many people associate the color pink with kindness; it is strongly associated with femininity. According to Khevin Barnes, a writer and breast cancer advocate, the symbol of the ribbon as well as the color pink has a story behind it. It all started with one woman, Charlotte Haley. Haley, along with her daughter, sister, and grandmother, had all battled breast cancer. At the age of 68, Haley began making peach-colored ribbons by hand at home. As the word spread, companies took her design and chose the color pink instead of peach because they believed the color pink focused on the idea of healing and comfort. The ribbon exemplifies a bow on top of a gift, and inside that gift is where hope of a cure waits to be released. It is the gift of life without cancer (The Story Behind the Pink Ribbon).  

Breast Cancer Awareness is more than just the month of October. It represents more than just raising money for the cause; it illustrates hope for finding a cure and education for all. Unfortunately, people have become used to October being related to Breast Cancer awareness; it has been around for a while so it’s become commonplace in society. While this is not a bad thing, it is crucial to not lose sight of its importance. Some people might question why other months of the year are not dedicated to different cancers as much as October is to Breast Cancer Awareness. According to Health One Family Medicine, “[breast cancer] is the second leading cause of death among women worldwide” (The Importance of Breast Cancer Awareness). Clearly, breast cancer is important because it is a big part of many women’s lives. 

In fact, here at Quakertown high school, my math teacher, Mrs. Waddell, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. In an interview with her, she shared some of her story. She told me that finding out she had cancer was devastating and scary for her as a parent, wife, and daughter. She was able to cope with the information by attacking it “head-on by getting as much information as possible of [her] options.” Each experience is different for everyone. After her surgery, Mrs. Waddell found that she needed to rely on others more than ever before. Her experience was filled with doctor appointments, stress, and worry waiting for answers. Mrs. Waddell states “worry is such a strong emotion that can bring you down… the unknown was very difficult to face.” What was important to her during her recovery was her network of family, friends, and coworkers that helped and supported her along the way. Mrs. Waddell did not keep her condition secret. She felt she had better odds of fighting the disease with more people advocating for her.

Mrs. Waddell’s advice for anyone going through a tough condition, like breast cancer, is to go through it your own way. Talk to experts, friends, and family and share what you are comfortable with sharing. It is also important to communicate with other patients or strangers who are going through the same thing or have already gone through it because they can help normalize the difficult decisions you have to make. Mrs. Waddell had a mantra: Power, Change, Connection, Family. She would say this is just a change in her life like all other changes we all go through that makes us better people. 

As shown through Mrs. Waddell’s story, it is crucial that we show support for those going through a tough condition even if it does not affect you directly. Educate yourself and share your support for breast cancer. Pull out those pink clothes and ribbons and help raise money for the cause so one day researchers and doctors can find a cure and save many women. Even the slightest support for those with breast cancer is well appreciated!