June 19, 2024

Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. That means every 1 in 8 women in the US will be diagnosed in their lifetime. 

On Oct. 21, Mt. Rubidoux turned pink as people dressed head-to-toe in the color and attended Riverside’s annual Breast Cancer Awareness walk, known as Pink on Parade. 

This is the 12th year that the event has been hosted and its popularity has skyrocketed as crowds came to honor those affected. According to pinkonparade.com, in last year’s walk there was a total of 700 participants, with 15% of those participants being breast cancer survivors. 

Jenny Lee, an attendee at the event, hiked with her co-workers who are also nurses that sponsor Neighborhood Healthcare. They perform preventative screening at their clinic to detect breast cancer early enough so those affected can get the treatment that they need. 

“We wanted to be a part of this event even if we don’t have a family member at home who is suffering from breast cancer,” Lee said. “But we do have a new member of our clinic who actually does have a history of breast cancer and we’re here to support.”

The walk was only a few hours but it made a differencfor those in need. Many individuals and teams fundraised for the event, with 100% of the proceeds going towards The Pink Ribbon Place. This program provides free wigs, breast prostheses, education and counseling services to help those directly affected by cancer in the community. Pink Ribbon Place is a part of the Riverside Community Health Foundation and has helped those impacted by cancer in Riverside and surrounding areas by providing these services at no cost.

Crystal Valenti, an attendee at Pink on Parade, chose to walk for her grandma, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. 

“They raise funds for research and helping families that need resources for when they’re struggling or when their family is struggling with cancer,” Valenti said. “And it’s not just for breast cancer, it’s for all cancers.”

Some unexpected friendships were formed as women joined together to support other women who are suffering. Rosemary Wick, an attendee at the event, was with a group she had just met. 

“So this is my first time meeting these ladies, and this forum creates an avenue for camaraderie and the ability to come together for an awesome cause,” Wick said. “Anything we can do now to improve our ability to someday find a cure for this is a worthy cause.”

In the month of October, millions of people, including various types of cancer survivors, raised money for the American Cancer Society through events similar to Pink on Parade. Funds from these kinds of events are lifesaving. According to Local 10 News, due to the amount of awareness that was spread about breast cancer, more women are encouraged to get annual mammograms for early detection and diagnosis of the disease.

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