ZTA hosts pink out walk for breast cancer 

Samuel Tucker | Senior Writer | Oct. 30, 2019

The Zeta Tau Alpha chapter at GC hosted their annual pink out walk for breast cancer awareness month on October 23rd at the fountain. The event was held in support of breast cancer awareness month to raise awareness and show support to those affected by breast cancer.

Faculty member, Jim Lidstone, speaks about the importance of awareness of breast cancer at ZTA’s event on Oct. 3
Jessica Gratigny | Asst. Photographer

Anna Powell, a sophomore marketing major, hoped the event would regenerate interest in the sorority’s mission. Sisters at the event were raising money for their Thriller 5k event and handing out the signature pink ribbons that are often seen on backpacks across campus.

“Our philanthropy is important in today’s world because so many people are affected by breast cancer, and we want to do everything we can to raise awareness,” Powell said. 

Before the walkout around campus began the event had guest speakers and breast cancer survivors tell their stories to the students collected around the fountain.

Jim Lidstone, the director of the Center for Health & Social Issues, spoke to the attendees about the prevalence and health risks associated with breast cancer. His work at the Center for Health & Social Issues works to educate students about chronic illnesses like breast cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“[Breast Cancer] affects every 1 in 8 women and every 1 in 883 men, which makes it a unique disease,” Lidstone said. “It touches virtually everyone because chances are you have a mother, sister or friend who has the disease.”

According to the website breastcancer.org, the risks of breast cancer in women doubles if that woman has a first-degree relative. While most women do not begin routine mammograms until they turn 35, there is still a possibility for breast cancer to develop in the age range of 18-35.

Jamie Addy, the GC librarian for first year students, and Patti Weimer, the administrative assistant for the GC athletic department, spoke at the walk about their struggles with breast cancer. 

Jamie Addy and Patti Weimer connect over their survivor stories on Wednesday Oct. 3
Jessica Gratigny | Asst. Photographer

Addy was diagnosed recently in June 2018 while Weimer has had breast cancer since March 2011.

Addy knew she had breast cancer after a lump in her breast grew over time and her doctor informed her she was triple negative and had calcium deposits in her breasts. 

“Once you get the news about breast cancer you start thinking about the rest of your life,”Addy said. “I have a 7-year-old and a 2-year-old and I kept thinking if I was going to see them grow up.” 

After the testimonies concluded at the fountain, the group began their trek around the main campus, beginning and ending their walk at the fountain. The act of walking itself is what drew the most attention from bystanders across the campus, for the sole reason to let others be aware of the impact breast cancer has on almost every person.

Even if everyone who attended the event did not have breast cancer, the goal of the walk was to ensure people were made aware of the risks associated with breast cancer. Even if you don’t quite fit the demographics it is still wise to look at your family history, make a doctor’s appointment and even check for lumps yourself.

“The key to spotting it early is mammograms, check-ups and most importantly being proactive,” Weimer said. “There are many different ways you can get breast cancer and it’s important to always be aware.”