Since 1985, the month of October is breast cancer has been celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness month. This annual international campaign organized by major breast health charities aims to raise awareness of the disease and the value of screening and early detection and to raise money for research into breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cures.
Across the U.S., the number of events seems to grow with every passing October. The Portland-Vancouver metroplex is no exception.
Whether you are a breast cancer patient or survivor, or an individual who has been indirectly touched by this disease, there are many ways you can show your support for this important cause.
In 2019, the area is hosting walks, a survivor social event, and even a Thorns game. Here are just some of the events happening this October.
7 Events Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness in the Portland-Vancouver Area
1. Making Strides Survivor Social Event
Tuesday, October 8, 2019
The week before their Making Strides walk, the American Cancer Society will be hosting the first-ever Survivor Social Event. Any survivors participating in the walk can pick up their t-shirts that day. In addition, the Portraits of Hope Ambassadors will be in attendance to share their stories.
2. Portland Thorns Breast Cancer Awareness Night
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Together with Susan G. Komen - Oregon and SW Washington, the Thorns are hosting Breast Cancer Awareness Night. This game is also the regular season finale against the Washington Spirit.
Besides catching a great game, fans will receive a Thorns t-shirt designed by Portland Gear. For anyone who wants to stay after the game, they'll be a Zumba class held on the field.
3. Work out for a cure.
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Barre is one of the hottest studio workouts. Whether you’re a newbie or a regular, join the Pink Lemonade Project and Barre3 for Pink Link Fit Barre3. On October 12, Barre3’s Felida studio in Vancouver will hold donation-based classes all day. All donations received will benefit breast cancer awareness.
4. Girlfriends Run for a Cure
Sunday, October 13, 2019
The Girlfriends Run for a Cure features a half marathon, 10K, and 5K. In addition, a special 1.1 mile course has been set aside just for kids.
Organizers describe the Girlfriends Run course as "mostly flat with a couple of short hills." The 5K is entirely flat and follows the Columbia River waterfront trail. After the run, firemen from the Vancouver Fire Department will be handing out medals. Runners can stick around for food, massages, and even an acupuncture session.
5. Making Strides Against Breast Cancer
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Making Strides is a fundraiser sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Event organizers stress that Making Strides is a walk, not a race. Participants are encouraged to walk as far as they are able and do not have to finish the course to participate.
Activities and vendors will be on-site before the event. There will also be a designated survivor area, where breast cancer survivors and their caregivers can meet up for information and support.
6. Game Night with the Guys
Tuesday, October 29, 2019
When a woman has breast cancer, it affects not only her but her entire family. Support for spouses and significant others can be overlooked.
Tap Union Freehouse is hosting Game Night with the Guys, an evening set aside just for the spouses and partners of breast cancer survivors. Attendees can enjoy a craft brew and a bite to eat while sharing their experiences. Trained spouse mentors will be on hand for support and to answer questions.
7. Worship in Pink
Saturdays & Sundays throughout October
Worship in Pink is a coalition of area churches and faith and community organizations. There are several Worship in Pink events being held on the Saturdays and Sundays throughout October. Some of the activities include talks, luncheons, and recognition of breast cancer survivors. Worship in Pink has a particular focus on African American women affected by breast cancer.
Other Ways to Support Breast Cancer Awareness Year-Round
Share your Story
The National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. encourages survivors or their families to share their experience on the NCBF website. The organization will spotlight survivors’ stories on its social media channels in October and beyond.
Share Breast Cancer Educational Material
If you’re active on social media, use your status updates, tweets, and Instagram posts to share facts and statistics about breast cancer, invite friends to join you at breast cancer awareness events you plan to attend, and encourage everyone to be diligent about following their doctors’ recommendations regarding mammograms.
Some educational sources to share:
Comprehensive and Compassionate Breast Cancer Treatment
At Compass Oncology, we have an outstanding team of physicians and supportive care providers that provide compassionate, individualized care. Our skilled cancer specialists provide comprehensive breast cancer treatments, along with support services and genetic testing. Search for a location near you to make an appointment with a Portland-area breast specialist.
Originally published September 2018. Updated October 2019.