Think Pink: Students support breast cancer research with the Pink Party fundraiser
Posted Nov. 7, 2008
Christina Worley

The Campus Activities Board held its annual Pink Party on Oct. 29 to raise money for breast cancer research. As participants enjoyed refreshments, provided by CAB, Kristina Granados, Keisha Clay and Evelyn Castro dance and sing to a karaoke version of Abba’s “Dancing Queen.” CAB also sold buttons, stickers and pink ribbons to raise money for the cause.

The Campus Activities Board held its annual breast cancer awareness event, the Pink Party, on Oct. 29 in Davenport Dining Hall for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Philanthropy Chairwoman Kaitlin Eckert said that the month of October should not be the only month that women and men are aware of breast cancer.

“Everyone should take precautions every month against cancer and how to prevent it,” Eckert said.

Eckert said that the Abigail Barraza Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing local and national awareness about breast cancer.

The foundation established the usage of Pink Ribbon Clubs. Their goal is to increase teen and young adult awareness.

The organization is also a community service program to provide opportunities to raise funds in the fight against breast cancer.

“Monica Barraza, who established the foundation, lost her mother to cancer,” Eckert said.

Barranza’s mother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

“Barraza also has a Web site that provides you with sources of education, awareness and support specifically targeting teenagers,” Eckert said.

In forming the club, they created a forum to educate their peers about breast cancer, provide volunteer opportunities in the breast cancer community and to raise funds for support and research.

Eckert said that the Barraza Foundation has helped many women to heighten awareness, no matter what race, age or where they are from.

According to the Abigail Barraza Web site and Pink Ribbon foundation, every three minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. This year alone, 211,240 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 40,410 women will die from breast cancer. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.

The Abigail Barraza Web site also said that just because your family does not have a history of breast cancer does not mean that you are safe.

More than 80 percent of all women who get breast cancer have a sister or a mother who has had the disease.

In the United States today, there are more than two million breast cancer survivors.

At the Pink Party, CAB members, students and faculty shared stories and experiences about their own struggles with breast cancer or of knowing a close family member with the disease.

Students who participated in the event sported their pink T-shirts, ribbons and buttons to show their support for breast cancer awareness month.

CAB Special Events committee member Kristina Granados stressed how important and life-changing breast cancer can be.

“My aunt had cancer, and now she is in remission. It is a life changing experience. I saw her learn from the experience and show others how important it is in helping others be aware of breast cancer,” Granados said.

Granados said that after her aunt was diagnosed, it was a lesson of awareness for her other family members to get check-ups.

“There are many precautions and changes in lifestyles that come along with after having cancer,” Granados said.

Some experts say certain everyday products could contain chemicals that are life threatening over a lifetime of use, such as cell phones, saccharin or plastic baby bottles.

Other experts say that doctors and researchers are still unsure of the many causes of breast cancer.

“I saw my aunt change her soap, eating habits, awareness of sun exposure and getting regular check ups,” Granados said.

“My grandmother passed from the disease. I understand that with the research we have today and technology, there is so much more of a chance to fight this and overcome it, opposed to 20 years ago when it was hard to detect,” CAB Special Events committee member Michelle Akahoshi, said.

Young women have the lowest rate among all women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, but this group is also the first to die from this disease due to lack of knowledge about treatments.

“I think people really don’t understand that it can happen to them, but it can,” CAB committee member junior Ruby Ballestamon said.

Ballestamon said that it used to be one out of 10 women would get breast cancer, and now it is one out of four.

“I think people are starting to take it more seriously,” Ballestamon said.

According to the Cancer Research Society Web site, one also can learn about how to prevent other cancers such as lung cancer, prostate cancer and lung disease.

One will also find a list of preventional measures, treatments, stagings, clinical trials, new research advances, medical references and resources about cancer.

Students gathered together at the fundraiser for cancer awareness, and CAB distributed pink ribbons for everyone to wear and provided stickers that cost $1 and buttons for 50 cents to raise money for cancer research.

ULV students from different organizations joined in a couple of songs in karaoke to sponsor the event.

Even though there were not many men who showed up to the event, senior Jonathan Smith sang his heart out with senior Keisha Clay, making a dynamic duo in the song, “The Closer I Get To You,” by Roberta Flack.

Eckert said that it is just as important for men to be aware of cancer as women.

CAB Special Events Chairwoman Evelyn Castro, who is a junior and psychology major, has participated in many events bringing awareness for other programs.

Castro said that in having events such as the Pink Party, people can come together and share their support and become more aware of breast cancer.

Jennifer Kitzmann can be reached at

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Think Pink: Students support breast cancer research with the Pink Party fundraiser

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