By JENNIFER BRICE — The month of October is annually dedicated to raising awareness for breast cancer, a disease that tragically affects one in eight women. Students at IHS have traditionally expressed their support for the women and families affected by the illness by selling t-shirts, organizing bake sales, and wearing pink to events. This year, the students of Leadership Seminar have expanded their passionate efforts to include lung cancer, prostate cancer, pediatric cancer, and pancreatic cancer, along with breast cancer awareness.
The week of awareness begins Monday, October 16th with a day dedicated to lung cancer awareness, and it culminates Friday, October 20 with breast cancer awareness, further emphasized by the Pink Out-themed football game. An assembly held the previous week will feature informative and inspiring speakers to kick off the events. “We want to inform the students in a way showing that we are all in this together,” says senior Becky Shellenbarger.
Other events to raise funds and awareness include t-shirt sales and bake sales, which have thematic colors corresponding with a cause. For example, the color representing pediatric cancer is yellow, so the proceeds from yellow t-shirts and baked goods will be donated to the Four Diamonds fund to benefit the families of children with cancer. Events planned for Friday, October 20th include a tailgate before the football game, along with a Pink Out themed dance after. Senior Jessica Cash says, “we’re hoping to bring everyone together in a fun way to raise awareness and money for this great cause.”
Expanding the initiative to such a wide range of causes is rooted in the students’ values of inclusiveness and unity. Halle Angelo, another senior involved in the project, explains that, “One of the reasons we decided to start Cancer Awareness Week was to let other students know that if they have a family member or someone they know going through treatment they always have someone they can talk to.” The intention is to create a more open conversation and build solidarity among students in IHS, which is necessary in our contribution to the war against cancer.
Cancer Awareness Week is just one event being planned by the Leadership Seminar class. Others include a career fair, positive additions to the school environment, a student ambassador program, and the annual THON. Each of these has the potential to build a sense of purpose within the school that transcends the walls of IHS and impacts the world around us.
[Photo by Jennifer Brice]
Photo caption: Senior Jennifer Zheng paints a sign to advertise for Cancer Awareness Week.