September 16– It’s the 10th year of HSHS St. Mary’s Real Men Wear Pink Campaign as the hospital continues to raise awareness and encourage women to get breast cancer screenings.
October may be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but St. Mary’s wants to raise awareness all fall with the help of central Illinois high school football teams. Football players, parents, students, and fans alike are encouraged to wear pink this fall and encourage a woman in their life to meet with their doctor and get screened for breast cancer.
“We want women to get their screening mammograms and to know their body and how their body feels,” St. Mary’s director of oncology Val Jordan says. “Getting that regular mammogram is the best chance at survival or finding a cure.”
This year, 15 high schools are participating in the campaign that kicks off tonight (Friday). Schools support RMWP in whatever way they can. Some schools sell t-shirts and hold raffles in an effort to raise awareness. Jordan says the campaign also encourages men to talk to the women in their life.
“What we focus on with the kids is tell the women in your life – your mom, your aunt, the women that you love – that you support them and it’s important to you that the women take care of themselves,” Jordan explains. “So often moms and aunts and sisters are the caretakers and we take care of everyone else before we worry about ourselves sometimes.”
Local football teams are joining in the effort by hosting pink-themed games throughout September and October. Players will wear pink gear during the designated games.
The first set of games is tonight (Friday). Central A&M will take on Clinton, Mt. Zion hosts Mattoon, and Sangamon Valley hosts Cerro Gordo-Bement.
Here is a list of the remaining RMWP games this season:
- 9/23: Clinton vs. St. Teresa, LSA vs. Sullivan-Okaw Valley, and Warrensburg-Latham vs. Shelbyville
- 9/30: Sullivan-Okaw Valley vs. Clinton
- 10/7: Maroa-Forsyth vs. Riverton
- 10/14: Cerro Gordo-Bement vs. Arthur/Lovington-Atwood/Hammond, MacArthur vs. Glenwood, and St. Teresa vs. Sullivan-Okaw Valley
- 10/15: Millikin University vs. Augustana College
- 10/21: Argenta-Oreana vs. Cumberland, and Eisenhower vs. Sacred Heart Griffin
For more information about the Real Men Wear Pink, you can click here.