Sarah Huntington, Westfield's 'Tie a Ribbon' campaign town captain, and her mom spent their Saturday morning in downtown Westfield wrapping eight-foot hot pink ribbons around trees on Quimby Street and Central Avenue to get residents and visitors "thinking pink."
The campaign, which takes place throughout the month of October, creates awareness and spreads the life-saving message of early detection, according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Huntington originally became involved with the Foundation in 1992 through her sorority at North Carolina State University.
"It was both the year I was initiated into Zeta Tau Alpha and the year my dad's mother lost her eight-year battle with breast cancer," Huntington recalled. "Zeta's national philanthropy was the Susan G. Komen Foundation and it seemed like destiny that I wound up a Zeta. Flash forward 20 years and I'm still volunteering for both Zeta Tau Alpha as a National Officer and have served as Westfield's Town Captain for the Tie a Ribbon campaign organized by the North Jersey chapter of Komen."
Huntington explained that after moving to Westfield in 2007 she called the North Jersey chapter's office, in Summit at the time, and asked how she could help. It was then that she was named town captain.
According to the Komen Foundation's website, breast cancer is the most prevelant cancer in the world today, with about 1.3 million people diagnosed annually. The exact cause of the disease is unknown, and at this time, there is no cure. In 2012, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be:
- 226,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer (includes new cases of primary breast cancer among survivors, but not recurrence of original breast cancer among survivors).
- 39,510 breast cancer deaths.
But because of heightened awareness, early detection through screening, improved treatment methods and increased access to breast health services, people have a greater chance of survival than ever before, the Foundation states.
Girl Scouts and Daisies provided afternoon assistance by decorating additional downtown trees with the ribbons, which read "Mammograms save lives."
Huntington said her mom will help her take down the ribbons at the end of the month as she has every year since she began four years ago.
Visit www.komennorthjersey.org for information or to make a donation.