Mother’s Day Used to Honor Breast Cancer Patients

mothers day breast cancer

The day a woman becomes a mother is among the most important and joyful days of her life, if not the most. Last Sunday, May 8, families throughout the country celebrated Mother’s Day, and homes afflicted by breast cancer were no exception. Numerous advocate groups and organizations used the day to raise awareness about breast cancer and initiatives took place throughout the USA to both alert for the disease and celebrate mothers going through it.

If being a mother is a full-time job which changes the life of a woman, suffering from breast cancer is also an important and demanding task with great impact on family life. This day, most commonly used to honor mothers, is also becoming a symbol against breast cancer. One of the examples of this is the Pink Ribbon Run & Walk on Sunday at Genesee Valley Park, which is now in its 15th annual edition and is a tradition in Rochester, New York.

The walk joins families, people of all ages, and even pets together – all of them dressed “pretty in pink.” The event is organized every year on the morning of Mother’s Day by the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester and this year it gathered over 3,000 people. The proceeds were granted to the organization to be invested in support groups, workshops, research initiatives, and healing classes such as gentle yoga.

“This is the fifteenth year for this event, and the fifteenth year that it’s been held on Mother’s Day,” said Debra Bonsignore of the Breast Cancer Coalition. “And it’s kind of ladies’ choice. A lot of these women choose to start their day like this, and their families choose to honor their moms and sisters and grandmothers and friends by starting the day with this event.”

The Mother’s Day Breast Cancer Canal Walk also took place on Sunday for the 20th consecutive year. The event, which happened at Widewaters Marina on Market Street in Lockport, in Amherst, New York, also aimed to honor mothers and people battling breast cancer. The tradition was started by a local woman and breast cancer patient named Mary Marvin. She died from the disease, but not until founding Mary’s Wig Room. The project at the American Cancer Society in Amherst provides free wigs and head coverings to both women and men undergoing cancer treatment.

In 2015, Mary’s Wig Room offered wigs to more than 500 cancer patients and the proceeds from the Mother’s Day Breast Cancer Canal Walk will be used to purchase more wigs. “It’s any type of cancer, not just breast cancer so anybody can come in. They can make an appointment, they can come in and try on wigs and walk out with a brand new wig and a brand new feeling,” said Rebecca Florio, Mother’s Day Breast Cancer Canal Walk Chairperson.

Organizations weren’t the only ones to celebrate Mother’s Day and breast cancer patients. The Major League Baseball joined the cause and invited all teams to do the same. The league has made it a tradition and Mother’s Day was dedicated to the fight against breast cancer for the 11th consecutive year. But for the first time, all teams wore costumed uniforms specially designed for the occasion. Royalties from the sales of Mother’s Day jerseys and caps will be donated by the Major League Baseball to Susan G. Komen.

The breast cancer charity, which was created by Nancy G. Brinker in honor of her sister Susan, will not only receive the profits from the Major League Baseball’s event but has also launched a campaign for the occasion. To celebrate Mother’s Day, the foundation launched #4EveryMom, a social media campaign focused on raising awareness for breast cancer and honoring mothers everywhere.

“#EveryMom salutes Moms everywhere  — moms who support our efforts, moms who live in our memories, and moms who are still fighting. This Mother’s Day and every day we work to end breast cancer. And, we won’t stop till we do!” announced founder Nancy G. Brinker in a statement. “#EveryMom is a tribute to the power of people and the strength of our message and our mission. This Mother’s Day we want to celebrate the mom in your life. Whether she left us too soon, is working through her diagnosis, or is your main support system, we are working every day so that, one day, no one loses their mom to breast cancer — we are working #4EveryMom.”

While the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) didn’t organize a specific event to mark the day, the main organization focused on fighting the disease on the USA celebrated Mother’s Day by sharing the hope-filled story of breast cancer survivors, Crystal King and her mother Virginia Jenkins. “Crystal and Virginia share more than their beautiful and charismatic smiles. Both women had estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, treated by a single mastectomy, on the same side,” stated the NBCF on a testimony titled “Like Mother, Like Daughter.”

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