Real men wear pink

Caitlyn Nichols

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Ogden City is involved with Breast Cancer Awareness Month as the Chiefs of the Police and Fire Department participate in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign with the American Cancer Society.

Police Chief Randy Watt and Fire Chief Mike Mathieu will both be trying to raise at least $2,500 each for the American Cancer Society throughout October. The chiefs, along with all sworn-in officers and firefighters of the Ogden Police and Fire Departments, will also be wearing special pink patches throughout the month to raise awareness for breast cancer. They encourage residents to wear pink as much as possible, as well.

“I have personally been affected by cancer and I have watched it ravage friends and family,” Chief Watt said. “I believe in supporting this cause in the hopes that we can find a cure and eradicate it from the lives of children, teens and adults, worldwide. With financial and community support, we can have a significant impact and contribute to the ongoing efforts to make cancer extinct.”

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Colt Jarvis, Community Developments Manager for the American Cancer Society of Utah, and Weber State alumnus, said that anyone, even young men, can be involved in this global health non-profit, and that they don’t have to be a community leader or a big name. Chief Mathieu also encouraged the community to do what they can to fight for the cause.

“Your family doesn’t have to be directly touched by breast cancer for the impact to reach you,” Chief Mathieu said. “I have close friends who are survivors of breast cancer, friends who have lost family members to breast cancer, and I’ve been involved in a previous fundraiser to help provide screenings to individuals in the Ogden community. You just have to reach out to whoever you can, however you can, because that’s how you can make a difference for a cause like this.”

Breast cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in women, and is also the second most diagnosed cancer in women, behind skin cancer. The Cancer Facts & Figures 2018 study, from the American Cancer Society, said that an estimated 266,120 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and an estimated 40,920 will die from it this year. Just looking at Utah, the same study said that 1,700 Utahn women will be diagnosed this year, and 280 will die from the cancer.

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All pictures courtesy of Ogden City

Jarvis said that Utah is in the 10 lowest states when it comes to citizens receiving breast cancer screenings, and that only about 63% of eligible women in Utah are getting mammograms. Because of this, the American Cancer Society of Utah is trying to implement community development strategies to raise breast cancer prevention and screening rates.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Jarvis said.

Jarvis also said that the Society earns an average of $300,000 for women undergoing breast cancer treatment in Utah. It uses this money to give cancer patients free places to stay while they are receiving treatment, such as the Hope Lodge or other hotels with which the Society has agreements. It also offers a program called “Road to Recovery,” where cancer patients can receive free rides to treatments when needed.

Jarvis said that there are also a couple of over a $1 million grants in Utah for cancer treatment research, and one of those grants is specifically aimed toward breast cancer research.

On Oct. 26 Real Men Wear Pink of Utah will hold a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.

“It’s not a women’s fight, it is a people’s fight. This is not a women’s issue, it is people’s issue. It gives everyone an opportunity to help save lives, celebrate lives, and fight for a world free from breast cancer,” Jarvis said.