2018-10-11 / Around Town

Broadway Turns Pink to Benefit Women with Breast Cancer

By James Merolla


Liz Hickox of Newport raises a triumphant fist during the TDP. Liz Hickox of Newport raises a triumphant fist during the TDP. The Red Sox have their pink hats, and for one important night on Oct. 18, Broadway will have their pink shirts.

“Broadway Turns the Night Pink” is a new effort to benefit young women surviving cancer through the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), a national organization that offers resources, connections, and outreach to women ages 15 through 39.

From 4 p.m. until closing, restaurants along Broadway will support the efforts by donating 10 percent of the evening’s proceeds to the cause. So far, Pour Judgement, Malt, Norey’s, Caleb and Broad and The Fifth Element have joined in.

The effort comes on the heels and pedals of The Tour de Pink (TDP), a 200-mile, fundraising bike ride that was held in New York at the end of September, thanks to two of its riders, Liz and Brian Hickox of Newport.

“My vision is that all of Broadway will be covered with people wearing pink dresses, suits, shirts, etcetera,” Brian said.

He hopes that every bistro will offer something special, even if it’s a pink cocktail sold only that night. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“Tour de Pink was started in 2004 by three young women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a very early age,” said Liz, adding that as many as a one-third of participants in the ride are also survivors. “These women were dismayed at the lack of resources available to them. Younger women diagnosed with breast cancer have very different needs than older women.”

Five years ago, Liz was ready to donate to the ride for a woman who twice endured breast cancer. She then learned that the woman was unable to ride due to health issues.

“I said, ‘Give me the bike, I’ll do the ride,’” Liz said.

Never having ridden a bike, Liz showed up 30 days later and promptly fell down. But she raised $6,000.

“She came back from that first year emphatically telling me that I should join the following year and I did,” Brian said. “This year, she rode her fifth TDP and I rode in my fourth, although we both rode in the South TDP this year as safety marshals and are flying out to California at the end of the month to marshal the west coast ride.

“This is an incredible organization and we are always thinking about how we can do more,” he said. “I thought of how amazing it would be to ‘turn the night pink,’ to show support for young women battling breast cancer and raise money for this great cause. The support has been wonderful so far and we look forward to a great night and, hopefully, an annual event going forward.”

To learn more about YSC, visit youngsurvival.org.

THE FACTS

Despite common misconceptions, young women can and do get breast cancer. Here are the startling facts:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women ages 15 to 39.

There is currently no effective breast cancer screening tool for women 40 and younger, most of whom have dense breast tissue that prevents routine mammograms from being a useful screening tool.

Nearly 80 percent of young women diagnosed with breast cancer find their breast abnormality themselves.

The American Cancer Society projects 231,840 new cases of invasive breast cancer among U.S. women annually, as well as an estimated 60,290 additional cases of in situ (in place) breast cancer.

It is estimated that 12,150 cases of breast cancer will be in women under age 40.

Approximately 26,393 women will be under 45 years of age when diagnosed.

It is projected that more than 1,000 women under age 40 will die from breast cancer each year.

Young women are more likely to have aggressive subtypes of breast cancer, including triple negative and HER2+ disease, larger tumor sizes and higher incidence of lymph node involvement.

Today, there are an estimated 250,000 breast cancer survivors living in the U.S. who were diagnosed at age 40 or younger.

THE ISSUES

Young women diagnosed with breast cancer face a myriad of issues that may significantly impact their quality and length of life. These issues are often amplified for women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, including:

 LACK OF RESEARCH
 PREGNANCY
 EARLY ONSET MENOPAUSE
 FERTILITY
 CHILD REARING
 FINANCIAL CHALLENGES
 BODY IMAGE
 RELATIONSHIPS AND DATING

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