Community supports breast cancer awareness

While many people associate the color orange with the month of October, there’s another color that should share the spotlight: pink. 

October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, which is the second most common type of cancer seen in American women, second only to skin cancer. 

According to the American Cancer Society, one out of every eight women in the United States will suffer from this disease at some point in their lives.

Those statistics may seem grim, but people all over the country and in Sonoma County are working towards finding a cure and providing breast cancer patients with a better future.

There are a multitude of fundraiser walks happening in the area throughout the month. 

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, which is an event put on by the American Cancer Society and held throughout the country, will be hosting three walks near Sonoma. 

On Oct. 20, there will be a walk in Sacramento, and on Oct. 26, there are walks in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Senior Libby Cunningham is creating a team to participate in the Oct. 26 walk at Golden Gate Park. 

“I think it’s important for people to participate in this walk, because it is a celebration of life, and it provides hope to men and women who may not have it,” said Cunningham.

Alena Faulkner, another senior at Sonoma State University, is also participating in the Golden Gate Park walk. 

Faulkner’s mother battled breast cancer and ultimately passed away from the disease in August 2011. 

“When my mom passed away from breast cancer two years ago, instead of my family accepting flowers or other forms of condolence, we asked family and friends to donate to breast cancer research and organizations helping the fight as an alternative,” said Faulkner.

She encouraged everyone to educate themselves, make healthy lifestyle choices and never take for granted the life they have been gifted.

“While my mother fought, she kept going to work for as long as possible, kept up with our family life, and found good and beauty in each day, even in her weakest moments,” said Faulkner.

Many business throughout the community are also getting involved.

Thumbprint Cellars, a winery based in Healdsburg, is kicking off a 12-week long health awareness initiative called “Leave Your Mark” this month, according to a press release. 

They are partnering with a Sonoma Country fundraising group called the Pink Divas to raise funds for the Avon Foundation for Women by selling “Save 2nd Base” bracelets and collecting money.

Similarly, Russian River Brewing Company in Petaluma is contributing to the efforts. Every October they sell Framboise For A Cure starting Oct. 1 until they run out. It is a blonde ale that is brewed with raspberries, leaving it with a pink color. 

All of the proceeds from Framboise For A Cure go towards the Sutter Breast Care Center of Santa Rosa. They made over $15,000 on the first night of the promotion from bottles alone, according to the Press Democrat.

Joining a team for the Making Strides walk is free. To register, go to makingstrides.acsevents.org, choose a race and join a team. 

For those unable to participate in one of the walks, donations can be made to any team through their website.