With the sun beaming down, the voices of children in the air and the feeling of relaxation setting in, Sunday afternoon could not have been a more perfect day to take a stroll around campus.Thanks to the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority for women, over $3,000 was raised last Sunday, Oct. 21, in honor of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, for breast cancer awareness. Hosted by Emily Powers and Rachael Dannucci of ZTA at West Chester University, they were able to get the third Annual Breast Cancer Awareness walk underway.
“It’s a worthy cause, and if you ever get the chance to fight for it, fight, because you never know when it will affect you,” Dannucci said.
The disease directly affected Megan Uebele, fourth-year New Member Educator for ZTA, when her mother, Debbie was diagnosed in June 2006 at the age of 54. Because of her strength, courage and funding from walks such as this and with appropriate treatment, Debbie is able to say that she has fought and beaten breast cancer and is currently in her remission period.
ZTA is both a social and philanthropic organization here on campus. Their national philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness. Their goal is to fight the disease with the best weapon early detection.
According to an American Cancer pamphlet available at the walk, every year more than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Eleven thousand five hundred of these women will be ages 40 and under. Also, more than 80 percent of women ages 40 and under with breast cancer found their own lump.
It is because of these harsh but true facts that ZTA women continue to hold this awareness walk. As a group, they endorse the Young Survival Coalition and aid in the raising of money for both the coalition and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Upon arriving at the walk, participants received a form to sign in and were asked for a minimum of $5 dollars toward the cause.
After filling out the form, participants filed into their seats, facing the front of the Sykes Ballrooms and awaited the guest speaker.
Andrew Morris, the National Historian for the Sigma Pi Fraternity, spoke on behalf of his wife Karen, who lost a long and agonizing battle with the cancer. He spoke of his wife’s experience through her spinal taps and chemotherapy treatments.
“I had to feed her because she couldn’t hold a spoon,” Morris said. “The sores on her mouth from her treatments were ripped open with her toothbrush.”
Looking around the room, a person could tell there was a feeling of emotion that had set in among the group. Hundreds of people sat in chairs silent, stared at the speaker, listened and almost felt his emotions as he described her pain.
Morris described after 40 weeks of malignant cell growth and treatment, his wife Karen passed away. Clearly, walks such as this one have an impact on not only the community within the school, but outside community members as well.
Many members in attendance at the walk were local WCU faculty, staff and students. However, many were family and friends from the community.
“I would just like to thank everyone, all the Greeks, who came out and supported us,” fourth-year treasurer of ZTA Amanda Lopes said. “Your continued support means so much.”
ZTA made an impact and will continue to support the cause through their efforts in awareness and funding the Susan G. Komen Foundation for many years to come.
Jessica Todd-Marrone is a third-year student majoring in international relations with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at JT608859@wcupa.edu.