Pink Ribbon | What Does It Mean?
What is the meaning of the pink ribbon? The pink ribbon is the world wide symbol for awareness and support of breast cancer.
First of all, it is important for you to know that a “ribbon” in general, of any color, represents awareness and support.
Cancer Awareness Ribbons
There are many other cancers that are recognized by a colored ribbon as you can see below.
Pink Ribbon History
The history of the pink ribbon began with a 68-year-old California woman named Charlotte Haley. Charlotte’s sister, daughter, AND granddaughter all had breast cancer. Because of her personal experience with breast cancer, she decided to distribute peach-colored ribbons. Her goal was to call attention to what she perceived as inadequate funding for breast cancer research. She handed out each set of the handmade ribbons with a note that read “the National Cancer Institute annual budget is $1.8 billion, only 5 percent goes for cancer prevention. Help us wake up our legislators and America by wearing this ribbon”.
In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation handed out pink ribbons to those who participated in the New York City race for breast cancer survivors. As a result, the peach ribbons transitioned into pink ribbons.
The pink ribbon is recognized internationally, and is displayed in many forms to represent breast cancer awareness, support, and hope. Therefore, when you wear a pink ribbon , or the color pink in general, it is one way to express your moral support and recognition. This expression is typically to breast cancer survivors, their families and friends.
I will tell you however, that personally, when I received my first gift, with a pink ribbon on it, I wasn’t excited. As a matter of fact I wasn’t even appreciative. Don’t misunderstand, I was thankful to the person that bought it, just not appreciative of what it meant. In the beginning, I actually resented those gifts. I didn’t look forward to getting them. Mostly for the fact that I kept wanting this diagnosis to be a mistake. And it took some time for me to be “truly” accepting of the diagnosis. So don’t feel compelled to go out to purchase breast cancer “paraphernalia” right away.
In conclusion, being diagnosed with breast cancer is such an emotional journey. While some may be more accepting sooner than others, it is normal for it to take time to digest your new diagnosis. Today, however, I am proud of EVERY pink ribbon in my life! As a matter of fact, pink is now my second favorite color. I now appreciate what the pink ribbon truly means. I am honored to wear it proudly as a breast cancer survivor.
- Published in breast cancer