Breast cancer awareness spreads on Kaua‘i

LIHU‘E — People spreading a message of breast cancer awareness took to the streets, Friday, during a “mini walk” hosted by the county Committee on the Status of Women.

The walk was part of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month celebration. Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and some members of the Kaua‘i County Council joined the committee and members of the public in the walk from the Lihu‘e Civic Center to Ho‘olako Street and back.

Other breast cancer awareness month activities have been taking place around the island throughout October, as community groups pledge their support toward combating a disease which will affect more than 200,000 Americans this year and claim almost 40,000 lives.

At the Island School campus in Puhi, Rose Shaw said some of the students at the Art Day Celebration on Friday were dressed in pink as a gesture toward their commitment to supporting breast cancer research while educating others about its risk factors, detection and treatment.

The Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football Association distributed pink equipment accessories which student-athletes, coaches and parents could wear throughout the month as part of the league’s demonstration in support for the crusade, said Sherri Agosto, the league’s president.

Other isolated pockets of support appeared on the football field of the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation where pink enhanced some of the equipment on the field as well as cheerleaders’ attire.

Coinciding with the mayor’s initiative on healthy lifestyles, the Committee on the Status of Women retraced the same path utilized by county employees during their lunchtime walk, Friday, the group appearing in uniform pink attire.

Pink ribbons are displayed on lapels, offices and storefronts as a symbol of support for those fighting breast cancer and to honor the lives lost to this disease, states a mayoral proclamation which was presented prior to the walk.

“I wasn’t going to walk because of all the other things I needed to do, but since my mother, a cancer survivor, walked, I decided I could walk as well,” said Mel Rapozo, Kaua‘i County Council member, who was joined by KipuKai Kuali‘i in doing the walk prior to attending the Kaua‘i Drug Court graduation.

Rapozo, in reading a related Kaua‘i County Council certificate, said aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States.

“While the statistics on breast cancer are staggering, it is a disease which can be overcome with early detection and proper treatment,” the certificate states. “All women should be encouraged to get their regular breast cancer screening and continue to live a healthy and active lifestyle for the prevention of this disease.”

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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