October: Breast Cancer Awareness month spotlights common suffering

by Kendall Martin and Emily Webb

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of Invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the United States. Although rare, men can also get breast cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and people all over the world show their support of cancer research by wearing pink and by donating to different fundraisers to support research for the disease.

The Susan G. Komen Foundation is the largest fundraising organization. Komen died at age 36 in 1980 of breast cancer. Her sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker, started a fundraiser to help others who are struggling with breast cancer. She made a promise to Komen that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. Since then, she and her team have invested in $2.9 billion in groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 60 countries.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, but many are cured.  The survivor network is vast.

Sophomore Ashley Walden has had breast cancer touch her family’s lives. Her mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in October 2011.

‘’The hardest struggle for my family was trying to comfort her through all of it. She was always in pain and going through constant surgeries, and I barely saw her for two years,’ said Walden.

Her mother also runs a farm, takes care of animals, and has a dog grooming business. However, when she was diagnosed, she could no longer do those things, so Ashley and her dad had to help out.

“The main effect it had on our family still lasts today. We all realized how something could be taken away from you so quickly and to cherish the time together while we can,” said Walden.

Karen Walden will be 5 years cancer free this year. She said, ”I got through it because I know I had a lot of people around me, and they would bring me dinners and help take Ashley to places she needed to be.” She also said, ”Take advantage from people around you that want to help because you can’t do everything on your own. ”

On Sunday, October 21, the annual Breast Cancer Awareness walk in Mt. Airy, Maryland was held. Survivors, fighters, and supporters from all over the county showed up to bring awareness to the disease and raise money for local cancer research.  The Linganore team of walkers raised $130.  The team included Charlotte Moore, Colby Huston, Alex Ismael, Jeremy Brown (SGA Advisor), Ashley Perise, Katie Morseman, Dominic Barbagallo, Emily Watston, Jessica Buntman, and Jasmine Macker.

Junior Jasmine Macker said, “I believe the breast cancer walk is very important because so many families are affected by this disease and we should raise more awareness about it and hopefully find a cure soon.”