Side-Out & Dig Pink: A Mission Beyond Me

Organizing Dig Pink® Night for Klein Forest High School has been life changing. Being involved with an organization that drives change in how all cancer is treated and slowing down the progression of stage IV breast cancer is monumental.

This being my second year organizing this event has led me to define my mission as a Side-Out Ambassador. Educating our youth was most definitely a priority of mine, but also getting them to converse and pass on their newly-found knowledge to others was my goal.

Learning More About Breast Cancer

For my educational hours, I choose to attend a Breast Cancer Seminar hosted by Sassy Ladies Passport to STEMulating Healthy Lifestyles called Tickled Pink. At this event, I was able to hear from Breast Cancer Survivors and Oncologists. This event was most enlightening as I was not only taught about the cancerous breast tissue cells, but offered much advice on how to aid loved ones during their battle.

Following that discussion, Triple-Negative Breast Cancer was spoken of as it is considered the most aggressive form of cancer and found in the majority of Hispanics and African Americans. Being that I go to a diverse school that consists of Hispanics, African American, Asian, Caucasian, etc., it was important to me to know how this could affect my community. Lastly, “The Red Devil” was highly discussed, as this chemo drug was used by three-fourths of the standing survivors. Through their teaching, I learned its purpose is to block the enzymes reproducing the cancerous cell which is how it gained the name “The Red Devil”.

After much discussion regarding Breast Cancer, I was able to hear what having breast cancer was like for theses survivors and listened to stories that still bring tears to my eyes. Learning how – within a matter of seconds – results had changed these women’s lives forever was truly emotional. To hear them talk about the grief of the soul that they thought they had lost due to a disease owned by millions was as though they were speaking of someone else, was unimaginable.

To hear their struggles as what they once believed made them a woman slowly being taken away from them was bewildering. Their stories put me in shock. A few of them felt as though they were obligated to comfort their families and friends as though their disease was an inconvenience to others.

Turning Education Into Dig Pink® Action

This information that was given to me made impacted my Dig Pink planning. I focused on informing and starting a conversation, more than anything. I interacted with a lot of the stores and got them to donate a personalized basket to our Silent Auction and start a Pink Out Tradition of their own that made their workers aware and knowledgeable about breast cancer.

Some challenges I faced while leading and organizing my Dig Pink campaign is that I had a poster of mine that detailed some facts about Breast Cancer that was taken down as they believed what I informed was “inappropriate”. The way that I overcame this is by speaking directly to the individual who took my poster down and explaining that what may be an uncomfortable discussion to some does not make the conversation inappropriate. I went into detail about the importance of educating our students and staff on what this Breast Cancer truly is and was able to place the poster back up.

The Dig Pink experience impacted me as it made me aware that everyone does not have a full understanding of what this month means. It is more than just wearing a pink shirt saying that you support the cause. It’s about what you as an individual are doing to make an impact.

Being an Ambassador has helped me find my purpose in society in which I desire to pursue and open up my own nonprofit organization so that I can continue doing something bigger than myself.

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