Tallahassee goes pink for a purpose

Tallahassee streets are lined with pink signs, cars are donned with the signature pink ribbon and people are covered in pink clothes.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and local businesses are spreading awareness for the disease by going pink.

According to the American Cancer Society, one out of 33 women will lose their battles with breast cancer. African-Americans suffer higher rates of mortality for the disease.

The American Cancer Society encourages both men and women to do self-examinations. Women over 40 are encouraged to schedule a mammogram every year.

Lisa Mergel, owner of Kanvas, a local skin care, beauty and spa boutique, said “going pink” as a community helps the message of breast cancer awareness get out.

“We’ve decided to participate in the Paint the Town Pink to be a part of the community and to make people aware of breast cancer,” Mergel said.

Mergel and her staff painted their business sign a vibrant shade of pink and hung huge pink bows from their building.

Other local businesses and state agencies are also getting involved to raise awareness to the disease that is the second leading cause of death for women.

Along the street, Manor at Midtown and the Florida Bankers Association, have gone pink in support.

On Thursday, the Leon County Court House was lit with pink lights, and students and educators at Lawton Chiles High and Rickards High School are also participating in the effort by wearing pink.

Local breast cancer walks, fundraising events and screenings are among other efforts to raise awareness.

Brittani DuBose, a Tallahassee resident, said the signs of support for awareness hit close to home and warmed her heart.

“I love the fact that Tallahassee businesses are going pink for breast cancer awareness,” DuBose said. “As someone who has seen a family member battle and succumb to breast cancer after about four years, it is very important that women, especially young women, continuously check their breast for lumps.

“I will proudly wear pink myself,” Dubose said. “I will wear it in honor of those who have lost the battle and those that are still fighting.”

Lauren Campbell, a senior health care management student from Chicago, said the signs of support around town encourage her to continue supporting the cause.

“I have close friends of the family who have both survived breast cancer and who have unfortunately died as a result,” Campbell said. “I became a strong supporter of breast cancer awareness going into college about five years ago.”

For Mergel, multiple community businesses promoting breast cancer awareness shows unity.

“Cancer has affected many people, so we wanted to be a part of the community and participate,” Mergel said.

For more information on breast cancer and how to raise awareness, visit cancer.org.