October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Christian organizations around the United States are painting the country pink to show their solidarity in the fight against the disease, which claims 39,000 American women’s lives per year.
One such organization is Christians Overcoming Cancer, a nonprofit headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, that is focused on using faith and fundraising to help cancer patients.
In October 2006, CEO and president Mary Jenkins began COC while she was still fighting stage III breast cancer.
Although the organization was originally meant to aid only breast cancer victims, Jenkins decided to extend relief to all cancer patients after turning down a woman with cervical cancer.
“I had to repent for judging. I pulled the board together and [we] voted to sponsor all cancers,” Jenkins told The Christian Post.
Jenkins added that she believes the pubic should focus on all cancers, not just breast cancer. One day, she hopes to adorn her city with gold, for children’s cancer, and grey, for brain cancer.
“My mind has gone to a higher calling,” said Jenkins.
Jenkins’ organization maintains a family-first philosophy, helping the families of cancer patients with financial woes.
As far as breast cancer is concerned, Jenkins advocated the importance of a healthy, knowledgeable lifestyle.
“It is important in this day and age for women to be pro-active in their health, do monthly checkups and see the doctor,” Jenkins said.
“Research has advanced treatment options so much that they can extend a woman’s life rather than have it end unnecessarily due to a late-stage diagnosis,” she added.
Connie Hill, a North Carolina native, founded the organization Lump to Laughter along with fellow breast cancer survivor and friend Renee Ballard.
According to the Lump to Laughter website, the purpose of their organization is to raise awareness and support for the emotional and spiritual journey through breast cancer.
Hill also wrote a book, From Lump to Laughter – The Story of Grace, which documents one woman’s journey with breast cancer and centers on accepting God’s will. “The focus of the book is a spiritual walk with God ... allowing God to be in control and understanding there is a purpose to everything,” Hill said.
Hill plans to celebrate breast cancer awareness month with other women in her community by honoring those who have passed away due to the disease. They plan to tie pink ribbons to trees and celebrate life.
This year marks the anniversary of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The cause has gone global, with Fiji recently joining the “Pinktober” goal for raising awareness.