Yesterday marked the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to get things started, the Charlotte Motor Speedway was painted pink on Wednesday.
According to the Independent Tribune, soccer star Mia Hamm joined forces with over 250 breast cancer survivors, along with their family and friends, a group of NASCAR drivers, and a few representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield to paint the CMS pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The annual Drive for the Cure 300 will take place at the CMS October 9.
Hamm is a brand ambassador for the Live Fearless campaign by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. She said that the purpose of the day was to discuss women taking charge when it comes to their health and being mindful about their well-being.
“Our focus today is about talking to women about being vigilant about your healthcare and your health – particularly about breast cancer prevention, detection and treatment. I’m really in awe of all of these survivors and how fearless they are to wake up every day and say, ‘today is going to be a good day.’ You guys are taking an active role in your health and setting a great example, not only for us that are here today, but for all the women in your lives.”
Senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Fara Palumbo, is also a survivor and participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness Month event. She explained why events like this one are vital for breast cancer awareness. Palumbo also expounded on how partnerships, such as the one with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Charlotte Motor Speedway, are significantly helpful in the plight of finding a cure.
“Every year we see advances in early detection and treatment and with each promising new development, more women gain the tools they need to fight and win their personal battle with breast cancer. But there’s a long way to go before we can wave the checkered flag on this disease. That’s why efforts like today’s paint the wall pink and next week’s Drive for the Cure 300 are so important. Blue Cross was incredibly lucky to find a supportive partner in Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR, partners who share our commitment to the health and well-being of women in North Carolina and empowering them to live fearless…One day I really believe there will be no need for a Drive for the Cure 300, as much fun as it will be. We will have cured breast cancer. But until then, we must continue to work together and drive forward until we reach that finish line – until we have defeated breast cancer.”
NASCAR drivers Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr., Chris Buescher, Blake Koch, Brennan Poole, Hermie Sadler, and Miss Sprint Cup Julianna White were all present at the Breast Cancer Awareness Month event and all pitched in to help with the day’s activities. The group presented the trophy for the 2015 Drive for the Cure 300 and also helped with painting the pit road wall pink.
NASCAR driver Blake Koch spoke about his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, and how a support group for the survivor can have a significant difference.
“I knew how important it was for me to be confident in her fighting this disease. She was strong enough to keep me positive. It was really difficult to see someone you love so much like your mom going through something. I remember when she started her chemo treatment and she was going to lose her hair, me and my stepdad shaved our heads with her. We were just part of the process and supporting her as much as we could.”
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is always full of supportive and fun events like these, meant to promote awareness about early detection and prevention of breast cancer and to help raise funds for the treatment of those diagnosed, as well as funds for efforts towards finding a cure for breast cancer.
[Photos Courtesy of Brian Lawdermilk & Sarah Glenn/Getty Images]