Pale pink ribbons

Ella Schulte, Student Life Assistant Editor & News Writer

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There once was a girl who stood at the top of a hill with arms grasping for the star-swept sky. Pale pink ribbons wrapped securely around her velvet curls. She felt invincible.

No matter how many times she got grass stains or scraped knees, that feeling, that feeling never went away…that is until the day when she first gave thought to the pale pink ribbons that were wrapped so securely around her velvet curls.

October  is  National  Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which according to Google, is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities. 

Not only does the color pink bring awareness to the disease, but it is often associated with the fight to find a cure.

Ella Schulte and Zach Noonan support Zach’s mother, Michelle Noonan, during the Especially for You Race held October 6, 2019. Michelle was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last April and continues to fight with her family and friends by her side. Michelle Noonan Photo.

Breast cancer has affected my life and the lives of those around me, as I’m sure it has affected yours too. Yet, at times, I feel as if we find comfort in our familiarity with walks and talk of chemotherapy. 

I know I do. 

It’s not until I see a pale pink ribbon or a beautiful bald head that I am reminded of the hardships so many endure on a day-to-day basis because of it.

 I’ve never been able to find the right words to cope with my understanding of breast cancer, or therefore lack of, until I stumbled across actress Angelina Jolie’s acceptance speech for the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2013 Governors Awards Ceremony.

“I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had, to have this path in life. And why across the world, there’s a woman just like me, with the same abilities and the same desires, same work ethic and love for her family, who would most likely make better films and better speeches — only she sits in a refugee camp. She has no voice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe, and if they’ll ever be allowed to return home,” Jolie stated. “I don’t know why this is my life and that’s hers. I don’t understand that, but I will do as my mother asked, and I will do the best I can with this life to be of use.” 

The emphasis she places on recognizing there are refugee camps and third world countries is undeniably important, but it is her sheer luck that resonates most deeply with me this October. 

I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had, to have this path in life. And why across town at Mercy Medical Center there’s a girl just like me, with the same abilities and same desires, same work ethic and love for her family, who would most likely write better articles and have better opinions— only she sits in a hospital room. 

She has no voice. 

She worries about what the doctors will say, how many more rounds of chemotherapy are necessary and if her and her mom will ever be allowed to return home . 

I don’t know why this is my life and that’s hers. I don’t understand that, but I will do as my mother asked, and I will do the best I can with this life to be of use.

There once was a girl who stood at the top of a hill with arms grasping for the star-swept sky. Pale pink ribbons wrapped securely around her velvet curls. She felt invincible.

 

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