There are few charitable campaigns in the world that have brought awareness to its cause the way the Pink Ribbon Campaign has since its inception in 1991. The campaign’s founder, Nancy G. Brinker, was simply trying to draw attention to a growing problem throughout the world. The problem was the onslaught of breast cancer and it was affecting millions of women all over the world.
If nothing else, the history of using ribbons as a rallying cry was nothing new. In 1979, yellow ribbons were used to display solidarity and support for the hostages held captive in Iran. In 1990, AIDS was devastating the world and red ribbons were used to garner support and caring for the victims. When Brinker began her “Susan G. Komen for the Cure” Foundation in 1982, the program adopted pink as its designated color, representing the femininity of women. When the time came, pink ribbons became the symbol of a great cause.
Brinker became an activist for the cause after watching her sister, Susan Komen, die from the disease. During her sister’s illness, she had noted there were far too many women who were suffering from more than the physical impact of the cancer. They were also suffering from mental and emotional distress as the cancer would eat away at their femininity and in many cases, their lives.
Through the support of Brinker’s organization, millions of lives have been saved. This has been accomplished by raising the group conscious about breast cancer in every part of the world through whatever means are available. Worldwide events were then and are now still being held to raise funds for research and support of breast cancer victims. A-List celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Elizabeth Hurley have also embraced the cause, lending both their time and names to be of service.
Today, the Pink Ribbon Campaign refuses to let up. October of each year is “breast cancer awareness month” and special fund raising events are held throughout the world. The NFL and MLB show its support by brandishing pink sports equipment that is eventually put up for auction to raise money. Walk-a-thons, dinners and dances are organized to continue increasing awareness and donations. When Susan Komen passed away, her sister made a promise. The promise was to never let up until a cure was found. Through the efforts of this campaign and others like it, it’s a promise she plans on keeping.