by Kristin McDonald
Breast cancer ribbon: Symbol of a New
Spirit of Activism
All of us are affected in some way by
cancer; it strikes friends, family, and leaders in the community.
The breast cancer ribbon is a bold response to this reality and a symbol of the new spirit of activism
that is changing the way we face breast cancer.
The first breast cancer ribbon, which was actually peach
in color, was designed in the early
1990's by Charlotte Haley.
The version of the breast cancer ribbon she created was a
result of her unique homespun wisdom It was a personal
symbol of empathy and hope for a cure for relatives and friends.
When she started distributing the breast cancer ribbons at her
local supermarket, they took off like crazy.
Everyone wanted a breast cancer ribbon!
Later, Alexandra Penney of Self Magazine
and breast cancer survivor, Evelyn Lauder of the Estée Lauder Company
decided to raise funds for breast cancer. After they spent
some time in the think tank, they created the
pink breast cancer ribbon to increase awareness... and boy did it ever catch
Some of us are on breast cancer's
hereditary hit list. As one of them, I'm very happy to
proudly wear a
breast cancer ribbon knowing that people will greet me with
empathy rather than nervousness, as was the case with my own
grandmother, who died of breast cancer.
The breast cancer ribbon is a great
icebreaker, fundraising tool, and enduring symbol for all women
who have to go through a challenging time in their lives to win
the battle with cancer.
Thanks in part to heightened awareness as
a result of breast cancer ribbons, bracelets and other awareness
activities such as National Breast Cancer Awareness month
(October) and the colorful breast cancer postage stamp,
women today can look forward to better preventive care, less
invasive treatments, enhanced cosmetic reconstruction and sympathy