October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and South Florida is busy with events and campaigns designed to bring attention and funding to help fight this deadly disease. At DiSchino & Schamy, this issue is close to our heart, and we add our voices to those bringing awareness of this ongoing battle.
Nearly 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2016, and around 1 in 8 of U.S. women will develop breast cancer during their lifetimes. This disease is more prevalent in women, but men also receive this diagnosis (around 1 in 1,000). More than 40,000 women in the U.S. are expected to die from this form of cancer this year, a number higher than for all other forms of cancer besides lung cancer. Although death rates and incident rates for breast cancer have been decreasing (likely due to earlier detection), these numbers are still enormous.
As with most illnesses, this disease affects not only the patient, but their entire landscape of family and friends. It is a rare person who doesn’t know someone who has suffered from this dreadful cancer, which is caused by mutation in the cells of the milk-producing glands or ducts of the breast. Malignant tumors in the breast, left unchecked, spread to the lymph nodes and, from there, throughout the body. Early detection is vitally important to prevent the spread of the cancerous cells, which makes awareness of the illness vitally important.
In October, the Susan G. Komen Foundation works with community leaders throughout the U.S. to coordinate events to raise funding for research and education to help combat breast cancer. The Race for the Cure, held in locations around the globe since 1983, has raised over $2 billion dollars. These monies have played a critical role in advancing research into this deadly disease and help fund education and treatment, with 75% of the net income from each race or event being dedicated to the host community for offering these services. The impact of such funding is exponential.
Komen Affiliates also coordinate other fundraising campaigns; in South Florida, the BigWigs were inaugurated in 2015. This campaign teams with local business and community leaders whose mission is to end breast cancer. During the 6-week campaign, each BigWig will raise at least $5,000 to be used for essential services, including education and treatment programs. BigWig campaigns also bring a touch of levity, as these well-known community leaders also don garishly pink bouffant wigs to bring further attention to the cause.
One of our closest clients, Cosmo & Company Salon & Spa in Palm Beach, is hosting this year’s BigWig event to kick off the 6-week campaign. The event on October 13th will introduce this year’s BigWigs and unveil the expertly-styled wigs that will mark them as leaders with a mission. Master stylist, Cosmo DiSchino, is not only one of the BigWigs this year but is also donating his time and talent to customize the fuchsia hairpieces for these well-known community leaders, based on their personalities.
The 2016 BigWigs include:
- Raphael Clemente, Executive Director, West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority
- Cosmo Dischino, Cosmo & Company, West Palm Beach
- Jonathan Duerr, Fite & Shavell, West Palm Beach
- Curtis Peery, Calaveras Cantina, Jupiter
- Jamel Stewart, City Manager, Delray Beach
- Jay Zeager, On Air Personality JVC Broadcasting, West Palm Beach
- 2016 Honorary BigWig- Ryan Beckett, Reality Show Personality ABC’s “Bachelor in Paradise”, Wellington
BigWigs will also sport their stunning custom hairpieces at the Saks Fifth Avenue Palm Beach Key to the Cure event on October 19, 2016. Contribute to your favorite BigWig’s personal fundraising goal by visiting www.komensouthflorida.org/bigwigs.
Komen is not alone in raising awareness; the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation also has a series of fundraising and awareness events this month in South Florida. In addition, many local businesses provide awareness through limited edition items with proceeds being donated to fight fight breast cancer. For example, another of our wonderful clients, Sweet Life Cake & Candy Supply, is selling distinctive pink “Save the Boobies” t-shirts and donating 20% to the Breast Cancer Foundation.
Together, we can make a difference and win the battle against this terrible disease.