Sea of…Pink?

**Note: Also appears on the Calgary Herald’s Q Blog

Reginald Tiangha
 – Next week is the Calgary Stampede’s 30 Hours of Tough campaign to help promote Breast Cancer awareness. As a Flames fan, I really like the idea of mass color coordination in large crowds, so I’m looking forward to seeing a fully pink themed parade, rodeo and Grandstand show (complete with pink fireworks!) on Friday. In fact, I’ve already bought myself a pink cowboy shirt (with the proceeds going towards the fundraising campaign) and fully plan on attending Sneek-a-Peek on Thursday where 100% of the $3 gate admission goes to the Alberta chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

However, fellow Q Blogger Megan Pratt brought up a good point a while ago. It really isn’t fair that whenever there is a big push for cancer awareness, it seems that breast cancer gets the most exposure and others, not so much.

Like Megan, cancer has touched my life as well. Just like in her case, my mother was diagnosed with cancer, although my mom’s cancer is cancer of the cervix. However, this isn’t like the cervical cancer that is commonly linked to STDs (I don’t even want to think about how that would have happened to my mom. Nope. Don’t want to picture that.).

No, hers is a rare type of cancer that only 1% of all cervical cancer patients have. The really boggling part of it is that my mom is/was a 100% healthy person. She doesn’t smoke, she doesn’t drink, and, before the diagnosis, she got lots of exercise. Because of this, I’ve heard that she’s become a little bit famous in some circles at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre because she’s such a special case.

In any event, I want to do my part to bring awareness to the fact that there are other types of cancer out there.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I fully intend to support the Calgary Stampede’s initiative by buying the pink merchandise and wearing some form of pink for the 30 hours because I think it is a really innovative way to support a really good cause. In fact, I hope that it is very, very successful.

However, I’m also going to do something a little different.

For those thirty hours, I’ll also be wearing a yellow ribbon on my left arm. Yellow is the color of the main symbol of the Canadian Cancer Society, which is the daffodil. By doing so, I hope that I can make others aware that there are other types of cancers out there that need our attention. At the very least, I hope that I’ll be able to at least solicit a few questions on the street about why I’ve got something tied around my arm while my fellow pink brethren do not.

Sometimes, awareness starts with asking just a simple question.

Of course, a yellow ribbon also has other meanings, and I guess it could also symbolize my support for our troops who are serving abroad. But for me, personally, it’ll be mainly worn in honor for my mom.

Anyways, I hope that the citizens of Calgary will embrace what the Calgary Stampede is trying to do to raise breast cancer awareness. I think it’s a worthy cause and I look forward to seeing a city that is traditionally decked out in red to be decked out in pink for a day and a half. I just hope that people also remember that there are other cancer causes out there that could use their support as well.