LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The color pink is everywhere during the month of October in hopes of raising awareness and funds to help fight breast cancer, but CHI Saint Luke's is getting creative with how they encourage others to give back.
"You can go out and pick up the flamingo you would like to take home with you, or take to your place of business, to help us let everyone know that breast cancer is for the birds," said Lindsey Mott, CHI Saint Luke's marketing communications specialist. "We definitely don't want to downplay how serious breast cancer is, but instead give people a unique way to think about it this month."
It's their first time organizing this event, where for just $15 dollars you can stop by the hospital's gift shop and give a donation, but also make a difference in the life of someone in East Texas battling cancer. For one volunteer organizer, this particular event hit home for her.
"This is something very near and dear to me as a breast cancer survivor, two people came and bought a flamingo in honor of my fight this morning and it just makes your day, your month, and reminds you what it's all about," said Sharon Kelley who went from being a patient of CHI Saint Luke's to now an employee.
The hospital is hoping to help local families in the area pay for necessities that may not be easy to do on their own while obtaining treatment.
"You know when some people are going through treatment they are missing work, and they are needing help with gas and medicine and other simple things like that," Kelley said. "I really hope the community will come together and support those struggling so we can make this an annual event."
It's a way for fellow East Texans to encourage each other during a month of awareness, and for those that have survived this disease it's also a way to know people care.
"I know when I went through the experience myself I had so many people around me that were so supportive, and we all need that. We all need to know tomorrow is going to be a better day," Kelley said.
CHI Saint Luke's Health is asking those that purchase their own flamingo to post it with a picture on social media including the hashtag, #BCTB honoring their Breast Cancer is for the Birds Event.
"Every three minutes someone is diagnosed with breast cancer across the United States, and still our best defense is self-exams and mammograms, and being someone that has survived this I really am encouraging everyone I know to go get checked," Kelley said.
For some this message of hope may be all they need to continue their fight, or to know that there are people everywhere who support them.
"For women that are going out there in the community going through this, it doesn't matter if its October, November, or December, there are people out in the community that are there for you and we want you to know you're not alone," Kelley said.
Once again if you want to participate in this event all you have to do is stop by the hospital's gift shop, make your donation, and pick up your own flamingo to honor a loved on fighting for the cause. More information can be found at: http://www.memorialhealth.us/news/article/breast_cancer_is_for_the_birds