On campus, pink ribbons are pinned to shirts and stapled to trees, pink and blue bracelets are sported by students and faculty, and some have even camped out on the Concrete Beach to show their support for breast cancer research.
Four senior brothers of the Western fraternity Alpha Epsilon PI camped out on Concrete Beach last night in hopes of raising upwards of $10,000 to go to the Canadian Cancer Society.
“People brought us coffee and hot chocolate, so the support has been good,” said Josh Gleicher, a fourth-year political science student, and Alpha Epsilon senior.
“Breast cancer has affected a lot of people’s lives,” he added. “It has affected all of our lives through friends and family.”
Gleicher, along with Alpha Epsilon Pi members Adam Fox, a fourth-year media information and technoculture student, Sean Jusko Konkol, a fourth-year political science student, and fraternity president Daniel Warner, a fourth-year administrative and commercial studies student, remained on concrete beach from 7 a.m. on Tuesday to 7 p.m. last night.
The breast cancer awareness committee at Western is also contributing to the fight, and is determined to inform students of the disease.
“We’re not all about funds, we’re more about raising awareness,” said Brooke Sytsma, head of promotions for the committee and third-year media and the public interest student.
“Every 30 seconds someone is diagnosed with breast cancer. It’s only going to get worse if people don’t know about it,” Sytsma said, adding the committee is responsible for giving out pink bracelets and for stapling pink ribbons to trees around campus.
“We want to get people thinking about breast cancer,” she said.
Sharon Wood, executive director of the Canadian breast cancer foundation, said student organizations help in the fight against breast cancer, particularly in raising awareness.
“Cancer has gone from a word that is to be whispered to something that is openly discussed,” Wood said. “Discussion and awareness on campuses, and in general, leads to research.
“We’ve made some great progress,” Wood said. “We now know that there probably won’t be one cure, and we’ve got to attack cancer on many fronts.
“We’re getting closer to changing cancer from a life-threatening disease to something that will be diagnosed as an illness, treated, and recovered from,” she added.