The annual Light it Pink event, a major breast cancer awareness campaign managed by Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC), is underway in the final planning stages, as the series of events are about to unfold over the course of two weeks.
The event is well known, not only due to the grip cancer has had on so many lives, but because of the well-planned programming put together by a caring staff.
For instance, the event is hard to ignore when it has one of the most successful t-shirt campaigns in the region—nearly everyone has a light it pink shirt from one year or another.
This year, the shirt campaign pre-sold 3,500 individual shirts. They have also ordered extras to sell once events get underway. Sweatshirts will be $30 and t-shirts will be $15.
The event will start Wednesday, September 28, with the delivery of shirts. This release of shirts kick things off for the two big events that follow, so that people will have their shirts available to wear.
One of the most memorable portions of the event series happens to be the Light it Pink Lantern Launch, which welcomes community members to set off lanterns in memory, recognition, and so on for someone who has had or has cancer.
The event is at Hill View Retirement Center Pond Park at SOMC Main Campus. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the launch is at 7:30 p.m on October 4.
“We want to host a ceremony that honors and speaks from the families’ and patients’ point of views for the past, the present, and the future,” Waugh explained. “We love the lantern lighting, because you can launch one in honor of someone who is going through the current battle or someone who lost their life. Also, for the future, you know, the kids who will one day face this until we find a cure.”
Waugh launches lanterns herself and finds the experience to be important.
“In my own story, I launch six lanterns for my aunt, my dad, my grandma, my grandpa, and another grandmother,” Waugh said. “I also launch one for myself to wonder why I got to be successful when others haven’t. It is powerful with that light and sort of symbology of carrying that torch forward.”
Following the lantern launch, the events get loud with the Pink Out! The Pink Out! is a celebration of survival and the energy around fighting for a cure. The event will be between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on October 7. There will be merchandise sales and food trucks at the SOMC Friends Community Center Parking Lot.
“We are going to have food trucks, raffles, and other fun activities,” Waugh said. “That’s just the day we ask everyone in town to wear their pink, make something pink, come decorated in pink. I think it is just a day that we, as a community, come together to show our support for one another and the cause.”
Following the two biggest events, the calendar continues with the Light it Pink merchandise sale at the SOMC Gift Gallery on October 10.
After the merchandise sale, the hospital gets proactive through breast screenings. The screenings will be held Wednesday, October 12, between 2 and 6 p.m., at the SOMC Cancer Center. Interested parties will need to call 740.356.7444. This event is free and designated for the under or uninsured. The providers will hold a free, clinical breast exam. If indicated, they will order a mammogram. If they order it, and the patient is under or uninsured, the campus utilizes grant funding to assist in the cost of the screening.
Of the events, this one may be the most important, since it is about catching local cases early.
“Breast cancer is a disease that, when detected early, is curable. So, the key, until we find the cure, is early detection. We can utilize our medical technologies to win this battle,” Waugh explained.
The events will wrap up with the Breast Cancer Awareness Workout of the Day (WOD), in partnership with Crossfit Alpha Pack, at 8 a.m., noon, and 4 p.m. on October 14.
“They do certain reps of certain exercises to teach you about breast cancer. I don’t know what the WOD will be yet, but it may be something like, seven out of ten women will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in their lifetime, so let’s do seven push ups seven times,” Waugh said.
With the wrap of the WOD, SOMC will close the events for the year and start looking at 2023.
“We want to keep cancer screenings and prevention at top of mind and to unite the community in fighting for friends, family, and neighbors,” Waugh said.
Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2022 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved