By: Suzanne Stone
You wouldn’t think that color could change everything. That a simple shade of light would be able to inspire action, enlighten the mind, even save a life. But it does, every day. In just the past couple of weeks I’ve replaced my white front porch light with a blue one to show my support for our officers and tied black and red ribbons on my trees in remembrance of a father and son who lived just down the street but lost their lives to terror in another country. Color can stir emotion, thought, can change a mood and symbolize so much.
A few months ago I needed new running shoes. As I shopped the shelf of shoes in the sports store it was painfully obvious my choices were slim. Neon colors and bright stripes dominate the women’s athletic shoe market. Not sure why we can’t just get a simple white and black running shoe, but it seems the running shoe designers of the world have a different opinion of what we should be wearing on our 6:00 a.m. runs. Faced with a choice of bright and brighter, I opted for bright pink. A solid and strong deep bright reflective pink. Little did I know at that moment that it would be a small sign of things to come.
Today as I end my second week as the Executive Director of Komen Austin, pink has become not just the color of my running shoes, but the driving force for my every day decisions. Our pink “running ribbon” isn’t just a logo. It’s a symbol of strength, perseverance, survival, and the vision of a world without breast cancer. It has become such a powerful and recognizable symbol and color. I would be surprised if you could find many who don’t immediately associate pink with Komen, breast cancer, and a person in their lives who has been touched by it.
Komen Austin embraces pink and empowers outreach organizations in our 5 county area to change the lives of the people who live in them. A woman who gets a mammogram free of charge, a patient who receives help navigating the complex world of her cancer care, a co-survivor who finds comfort in a group of people where he finds out he’s not the only one – all made possible because the power of pink, a simple color, inspired someone to give a dollar.
Tomorrow morning, I plan to put on my pink running shoes and show the sunrise I mean business. Maybe I will solve that problem that’s had me stumped. Or come up with a new idea for outreach and education. Perhaps I’ll just feel better. Regardless of the outcome, my pink shoes will carry me, inspire me and most importantly remind me of the struggle too many women are facing.
Join me. Go grab those running shoes, walking shoes, hiking shoes, river shoes or high heeled shoes and let’s get to work to make the color pink a color of celebration and a reminder of a time when breast cancer was something we still had to fight. Put aside a dollar for every mile you run, every step you take or hill you climb, donate it to Komen Austin and watch lives change. All because of a color.