In February of this year, I joined the team for the American Cancer Society’s (“ACS”) 2019 Real Men Wear Pink campaign, an effort that gives men the opportunity to take a leadership role in raising funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Community leaders around the nation use the “Power of Pink” to support the ACS's breast cancer initiatives, including innovative research, patient services, and education around screenings and risk reduction. It’s one important way we can attack cancer from every angle.
I learned a lot during the campaign. Cancer has touched so many people, including three generations of my own family. Almost everyone I spoke to knew someone who was a survivor of breast cancer, or someone who’d lost their battle with the disease. We should all make a point to talk more about it to help create the awareness and motivate people to get regular screenings. Just wearing the color pink was a conversation starter everywhere I went!
When I joined the cause for 2019, I had no way of knowing just what this year would bring. Unfortunately, in the past year my family suffered the loss of several members, and has been rocked by new cancer diagnoses. Through my Real Men Wear Pink campaign, I’ve been able to raise awareness and provide support to both family members and friends who are going through cancer treatment.
One thing I’ve learned through this experience is the power of having support systems and the power of reaching out. I’m truly amazed and humbled by the generosity of people. Everywhere I went, individuals and groups responded to my campaign by giving their time, talent and treasure to help. Your support system is larger than you think! The power of simply asking shows how supportive people can be.
Success can be measured in a number of ways. This year, we supported my family members and created awareness by wearing the color pink. Hopefully, the awareness we created encouraged – and will continue to encourage – people to take the necessary steps to detect and treat breast cancer at an early stage.
I also experienced success by raising over $71,000, which helped elevate the Pittsburgh campaign to the rank of #5 in the nation. Individually, I was number one in Pittsburgh and number four nationally. I tell you, the generosity of people is just unreal!
And I couldn’t have done it without you. Special thank yous to my family (especially my wife Jen), who helped take charge of my fundraising, Kelly Simpson (my campaign manager) and Dawn Keefer from the ACS.
Let’s continue to wear pink and raise awareness. If you haven’t contributed to my campaign and you’d like to join the cause, you can still contribute to Real Men Wear Pink.
Hats off to all the Real Men; we should all be proud of the job we did during the 2019 campaign!
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