Press release from the American Cancer Society:
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and even in these uncertain times, the American Cancer Society (ACS) is still attacking cancer from every angle. The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer movement raises awareness and funds to end breast cancer and ensures no one faces this disease alone. Since 1993, more than 16 million supporters have raised well over $990 million nationwide. Nationally, ACS has $67 million invested in 162 breast cancer research grants, including 31 active grants totaling $12.5 million in North Carolina.
According to the American Cancer Society, never before in the organization’s 107-year history has the mission been at risk like it is now. Postponed events and a huge decline in charitable donations have led to a revenue shortfall no one could have predicted. In fact, if current trends continue, ACS will have to reduce funding of cancer research by 50% – the lowest investment this century. It could set back cancer research an entire generation; additionally, the bright young researchers whose findings could help the American Cancer Society find cures will look to other fields of work.“At risk are better treatment options and research discoveries that will improve and save lives,” says Megan Nelson, Executive Director for Western North Carolina and South Carolina. “It’s true that COVID-19 has caused us to suspend some of traditional events, however there are PLENTY of things we ARE doing in the Asheville area to make strides against breast cancer. This year, we have had to do what we affectionately call, the pandemic pivot.”
The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer movement:
Join us for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on Saturday, Oct. 17. This will be a “Pink Ride For Strides” – a drive through celebration at Lake Julian Park from 10 a.m.-noon. There will be giveaways, survivor gifts, music, a car decorating competition, pumpkins for sale, and much more. It is free to attend, and donations to support our mission are encouraged. Sponsors dedicated to our pink cause include Sunshine Chevy, White Labs/Beer For Boobs, Myriad, WLOS-TV, and Mix 96.5. To learn more and register, visit makingstrideswalk.org/ashevillenc.
WNC Wears Pink:
The WNC Wears Pink campaign is off to a great start. Each year in October, community leaders are invited to become WNC Wears Pink candidates. These candidates unite to fight breast cancer with the American Cancer Society through competitive fundraising, wearing pink every day for the entire month and helping bring awareness to breast cancer through telling their stories.
So far, the candidates have raised over $4,000 toward their collective $25,000 goal. This year’s campaign features 10 community and corporate leaders from Western North Carolina:
- Ingrid Allstaetd, WLOS-TV
- Ricky Bolick, Avid ACS Volunteer
- Jesse Coffey, Quality Plus
- Kylie Franklin, Hope Women’s Cancer Center
- Laura Holland, Hickory Chair
- Keith Howell, Thermo Fisher Scientific
- Himanshu Karvir, Virtelle Hospitality
- John Perkins, Recovery Bureau International
- Leonardo Powell, Retail/Sales
- Tyler Reed, GE Aviation
- Marta Santamaria, The Venue – The Ridge – The PlanningDonate to a WNC Wears Pink candidate at charity.gofundme.com/wncwearspink
Breast health equity:
Focusing on health equity is not new to the American Cancer Society, in fact, it is embedded in almost everything we do. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated disparities among our most vulnerable populations. Cancer is a disease that affects everyone, but it doesn’t affect everyone equally.
Addressing the inequities in cancer outcomes requires all of us to use a health equity lens in our work. On Friday, Oct. 16 at 9:00 a.m., The American Cancer Society is proud to present the virtual North Carolina Breast Health Equity Summit to address two critical areas of the North Carolina Cancer Plan: Health Disparities and Breast Cancer. The goal of the summit is to educate our communities and influence policy decisions for meaningful, sustainable change. This event is free to attend with the promo code: “acsfriend” -Registration is required, please visit the website cancer.org/equitysummitnc.
About mammograms during COVID-19:
Many women get an annual mammogram for breast cancer screening. However, leading organizations that issue screening guidelines recommend that average-risk women ages 55 and older can be screened every two years. Women 55 or older who had a normal mammogram within the last year could choose to have their next mammogram up to 24 months after your last one.As your regular facility for health care returns to providing cancer screening, it’s important that it is done as safely as possible. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommendations for healthcare facilities to reduce the risk of COVID transmission:
- Screening centers should be available to answer questions from patients via phone or web portal before and/or after the screening procedure.
- Patients should be pre-screened for COVID-related symptoms before screening appointments.
- Scheduling of appointments should allow for physical distancing between patients, and longer appointment times, if needed, to avoid crowding in waiting rooms and patient care areas.
- There should be limitations on visitors other than patients and/or their caregivers into the screening facility.
- If not done in front of the patient, the screening center should be able to explain how often equipment and surfaces are disinfected and cleaned.
- Everyone, including patients and staff, should wear a face covering or face mask, where appropriate. There should be frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer by staff, patients, and visitors.
Get involved with the local Asheville events:
- Form a team and fundraise with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Asheville
- Donate to a WNC Wears Pink candidate at charity.gofundme.com/wncwearspink
- Participate in the Pink Ride For Strides
- When: Saturday, Oct. 17
- What: Drive through celebration to honor survivors and continue the fight against breast cancer
- Register: https://www.facebook.com/events/2843608269074421
- Participate in the virtual NC Breast Health Equity Summit, Oct 16, register by using the code “acsfriend” at cancer.org/equitysummitnc.
From investing in research, providing free rides to treatment, giving insurance advice and providing a free place to stay during chemotherapy, the American Cancer Society is attacking cancer from every angle. We are here for patients and their caregivers 24/7. Call our ACS Helpline at 1-800-237-2345 or visit cancer.orgTake action with The American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and help make fighting breast cancer a national priority at acscan.org/makingstrides