Breast Cancer Awreness

Dalyn Munoz, Writer

Throughout October, everything was dominated by the color pink,from clothing to sports equipment. This is because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, put on by several major breast cancer charities and is an annual campaign to increase awareness about the disease.

In the United States, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime which makes it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and the second leading cancer death among women. Professional sports leagues, like the NFL, MLB and the NHL, take month-long initiatives to raise awareness and money for charities doing their parts in helping the fight against breast cancer.

Starting in 2009, the NFL began the “A Crucial Catch’’ campaign, which is a partner to the American Cancer Society.’’ The Hockey Fights Cancer’’ initiative was established in 1998 and was founded by the National Hockey League to help raise money and awareness for cancer research.

Lisa Johnson began teaching at Vista the first year it opened, in 2007, and teaches kinesiology and fitness. In May of 2012 Ms. Johnson was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I’m still in treatment right now so it’s been about 4 and a half years. I had three months of chemotherapy and one month of radiation treatment. It made me feel tired and nauseous all the time, but I was happy to get the cancer out of me,” said Johnson.

If caught in early stages, breast cancer can be treated very effectively and efficiently, contrary to  the later stages in which the cancer can be very dangerous and has very low survival rates.

“It’s made me appreciate every day and not to take anything for granted. Just live life to the fullest,” said Johnson.

To stay healthy and in shape Johnson enjoys running in competitions and working out with her husband. She also participates in a research study for cancer by studying her eating habits and exercise. Studies by the American Cancer Society show that getting regular amounts of exercise and making healthy food and life choices can cut your risk of many common cancers by 30 to 50 percent.

Professional sports leagues promote the message that women should get annual checkups for breast cancer and have also donated millions to help people like Johnson by funding research to look for a cure for cancer. Since 2009, the NFL’s campaign has raised nearly $15 million by selling their pink breast cancer awareness merchandise, while the Hockey Fights Cancer initiative has helped raise more than $16 million to support local and national cancer research institutions, children’s hospitals, player charities and local charities since being founded in 1998.

Stories like Johnson’s bring a glimmer of hope for those who might not be so lucky and are still fighting the deadly disease to this day. Organizations like The Crucial Catch and Hockey Fights Cancer hope that one day they can finally find a cure for cancer as a whole and make stories like Johnson’s a reality for all cancer patients.

To show support, Vista cheerleaders and football players wore pink gear throughout the month of October. The cheer team wore pink ribbons in their hair while the football players wore anything from pink gloves to arm sleeves.

The color pink has become a major part of sports culture, but it is more than just a color — it’s sign of strength and perseverance no matter the odds.