|August 12, 1936 – November 12, 2011|
In 1991, Evelyn H. Lauder, the president and founder of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Alexandra Penney, the editor of Self Magazine at that time, got together and conceived of using a pink ribbon as the symbol for breast cancer awareness. They also felt the breast cancer pink ribbon should also stand for the unity of women in surviving and conquering the disease.
Since that time, the pink ribbon has come to mean many things to many different people. For the person in the midst of breast cancer treatment, it can be a symbol of hope. For others, it can be a sign of survival and love. To the people who have lost a loved one to the disease, the breast cancer pink ribbon can be a memorial to that person. It can also mean support for research in finding a cure for breast cancer. Every October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, people wear the breast cancer pink ribbon as a visible sign for promotion of awareness.
The pink ribbon has had such an impact that countries all over the world have adopted it and are using it to express unity with women globally who may be suffering with the disease. Their efforts are aimed at providing knowledge about early detection of breast cancer and research for a cure. Breast cancer seems to be on the rise in other countries in addition to the U.S., so the breast cancer pink ribbon is part of a positive movement for all women throughout the world.
Interestingly, the pink ribbon is not always made out of fabric anymore. It has become such a well-known and optimistic symbol that it is seen as magnets, stained glass hangings, ceramics, jewelry, and incorporated into artwork. The largest breast cancer pink ribbon was recently made out of pink Post-it Super Sticky Notes on a billboard in Times Square to support Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.