According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women in the United States. Every year, communities across the U.S. show support by raising awareness for the fight against this disease through actions like 5Ks and wearing the color pink. The University of Maine’s University Volunteer Ambulance Corps, or UVAC, has decided to aid in the fight against breast cancer through the sale of T-shirts. All proceeds will go to the Maine Cancer Foundation, which supports Maine cancer survivors.
Erika Pacheo, captain of community outreach for UVAC, created the fundraiser to raise awareness.
“As a healthcare organization, we felt a responsibility to raise awareness on an issue that affects so many people. Also, a family member of one of our crew members was diagnosed with breast cancer so we felt a personal obligation as well,” Pacheo said. “To help bring awareness, two of our EMTs, Evan McCarty and myself organized this fundraiser to support [the] Maine Cancer Foundation.”
So far they have garnered a large amount of support for this cause.
“Through the sales of our ‘UVAC for a Cure’ awareness T-shirts, we have raised over $200 in donations to the Maine Cancer Foundation. The University Bookstore has supported our fundraiser tremendously both by supplying the shirts to us and selling the shirts in person and online,” Pacheo said.
The shirt is navy blue, with a light blue Black Bear claw that is outlined with the color pink on the chest region on the front. The back features the same claw with the phrase “UVAC for a cure” and the Maine Cancer Foundation logo. The shirt can be purchased through the University Bookstore or through UVAC members for $20.
According to breastcancer.org, breast cancer affects many women every year, as 1 in 8 women are expected to develop it at some point in their life. This is about 12% of the female population in the United States, or over 39 million women that will develop breast cancer. Cancer.org states that in 2020 “about 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women” and an estimated “48,530 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).” Another statistic from breastcancer.org states that “About 42,170 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2020 from breast cancer.” Death rates have been steady in women under 50 since 2007, but have continued to drop in women over 50. The overall death rate from breast cancer decreased by 1.3% per year from 2013 to 2017. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances and earlier detection through screening.”
UVAC is an important part of the UMaine community, and through their hard work and dedication students are able to remain safe on campus. UVAC has around 65 members that log around 30,000 hours of service each year. This fundraiser is something extra they decided to do this year and hopefully will remain a tradition for years to come.