Leadership to debut Breast Cancer Awareness week

Heidi Roenisch

Leadership announced that it will host Redwood’s first ever Breast Cancer Awareness week from Oct. 19-23.

Senior Maggy Kepler, head of the subcommittee in charge of the event, said that the week will consist of pink spirit days and center around a girls’ volleyball game night on Wednesday, Oct. 21.

“It’s a big home game against Marin Catholic that night, and the giveaway will be pink t-shirts so we’ll have a ‘Pink Zone’ instead of the Red Zone,” Kepler said.

Kepler stated that the event’s primary goal is to show support for the cause.

Infographic by Heidi Roenisch, Statistics by UCSF, Northern California Cancer Center, National Cancer Institute, Jan. 2015 Bark Survey

“We’re going to sell wristbands to raise some money for local groups, but this event is mainly to promote awareness. It’s not going to be a huge fundraiser,” she said.

According to Leadership advisor Jennifer Madden, the Breast Cancer Awareness week will replace the sock donation campaign from previous years.

“We’ve been doing Socktober for the last couple of years, and it has been really successful, but the class voted to do something different,” Madden said.

This decision to focus on breast cancer reflects a prevalent issue in Marin County. According to the Northern California Cancer Center, breast cancer rates among Marin women are about 40 percent higher than the national average of 124.8 new cases per 100,000 women and 30 percent higher than the rest of the Bay Area. A UCSF report also found Marin to have the highest breast cancer rate in the United States based on data analyzed from the early 2000s.

“Breast cancer is something that impacts a lot of people in our community, so we wanted to spread more awareness and show support for those who are going through it,” Madden said.

A January 2015 Bark survey showed that 62 percent of Redwood students know someone who currently has breast cancer or has battled it previously, including 36 percent who have a family member affected by the disease.  

Although the entire month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the leadership class chose to limit Redwood’s event to one week.

“We decided to just do a week because of everything that’s going on in October. We didn’t want it to be overshadowed by other events like Homecoming, so doing it as its own week will make sure that people are really paying attention to the message we’re trying to get across,” Kepler said.