Breast cancer affects everyone—both men and women.
That's why the American Cancer Society (ACS) recruits men to fight breast cancer through their Real Men Wear Pink campaign.
The distinguished group of West Michigan community leaders is determined to raise awareness and money to support the ACS' mission of saving more lives from breast cancer by wearing pink every single day throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Meet the men, and why they wear pink. Click on their names to support them in their fundraising efforts for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.
I have had friends and loved ones touched by some form of cancer. When we have family reunions or gatherings, we always take a minute to remember those we lost and those who survived. I have a very good friend and neighbor who has battled breast cancer, and I am glad to say she is in remission.
I am very excited to be involved in such a worthy cause and bring awareness to this campaign, while having the chance to represent Cascade Engineering and work with the folks from ACS and raise money that will go towards helping those folks in need.
I have stood by family, praying and mourning, as a one of our own has been taken by cancer. I felt helpless as I stood by friends when their mom, sister, dad, brother, or someone simply close to them could no longer fight against cancer and their life ended too soon. I choose to stand with my fellow friends in this campaign to make a statement. We are proud to wear pink and motivated to help in any way possible to find a way to beat cancer. I know we can succeed.
Having had several members of his family affected by breast cancer, I am honored to be able to join the efforts to help bring awareness to breast cancer.
In July 2016, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer and passed away on September 1. It has been a challenging time for our family, especially my wife, who was looking forward to coming home to Michigan and being able to do the things with her mother that she wasn't able to do for the last 15 years while we were relocated with my career. I also had a very good friend from high school who passed away a few years ago from prostate cancer in his mid-30s.
Cancer took my Aunt Faye, my Uncle David and my mother, Margaret Hadfield. Mom passed in 2000, only eight weeks after being diagnosed with cancer in her bone marrow. It had metastasized from breast cancer. Aunt Faye also passed from breast cancer. All three deaths were devastating to me and our family.
I want to demonstrate awareness and attention to all the people I meet—that it's imperative for us all to care enough to step up. Wearing pink every day will get noticed, and I want to make a difference. Even if just for one person!
Every day, ACS is saving more lives from breast cancer than ever before. They're helping people take steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer or find it early, when it's easier to treat. They provide free information and services when and where people need it. They fund groundbreaking breast cancer research and they're working to ensure access to mammograms for women who need them. By raising money and awareness through Real Men Wear Pink, I'm helping to save more lives from breast cancer.
I come from a family of six girls, five sisters and my mother. With my wife, her two sisters and my mother-in-law, 10 women are in my direct circle. I know the numbers: one in eight will develop an invasive form of breast cancer in their life.
The numbers are scary.
Making a difference. That's what I try to do each day at work. This will give it more visibility. I want to be a reminder of the importance to be aware of your body and its changes. I hope that wearing pink will help someone spark a conversation, remember to get themselves checked, or encourage our generous community to donate to the important research needed to help those fight cancer. Wearing pink is my way of helping to beat cancer, because as Stuart Scott so perfectly put it: "You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live."
Sadly, like so many people, cancer has touched my life in one way or another—through family, co-workers and friends. My brother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 25 and I'm happy to report, after treatment, he is cancer free today. Watching his strength, courage and faith was inspirational. My grandmother had breast cancer but has been cancer free for three years now. I have been blessed that these two people have had wonderful results, but I know that way too many people still do not. I have watched close friends and family lose loved ones way too soon to this awful disease.
When someone you know and love is diagnosed with cancer, it drives you to have strength and compassion you may not have known was in you. The hope and fight that these people have for every second of every day of their lives inspires me to take action that can benefit these courageous people.
My strongest and most personal connection to breast cancer has been through my close neighbor and friend, Denise Bohn, who died tragically two years ago. Denise was an unstoppable force in the fight against breast cancer. She was a survivor, a cherished source of inspiration to those who were battling the disease; a bedrock of comfort for families and friends who had lost someone dear to them; a bulldog in gathering the resources and support required to bring breast cancer into an unavoidable focus and cause for the masses. I am honored to live Denise's legacy, trying to give back just a small amount of what she provided to this great community.
My grandmother-in-law, Colleen Kowalke, had breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. My brother-in-law, Chres Johnson, had thryroid cancer and I have a cousin, Spencer Faulk, who had Hodgkin's. ACS helped my grandmother-in-law through the mastectomy. Through being involved in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign, I look forward to the opportunity to help a great organization raise money and awareness for the fight against cancer.
I am the oldest of five boys, and we lost our mother at the age of 52 to breast cancer in 2004. My parents were approaching their 33rd wedding anniversary. I was 24 years old, and my youngest brother was 16. As time heals most wounds, the scars always remain. Volunteering in Real Men Wear Pink, along with Making Strides, helps take the sting out of the loss a little by carrying on the memory of my mother and spreading awareness to others.
Real men ALSO wear WIGS. Join the Real Men at West Michigan Woman's Wine & Wig event on October 14, 2017. Get your tickets. Join the fight against breast cancer.
Courtesy of the American Cancer Association. Learn more about the Real Men Wear Pink campaign at cancer.org.