Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Cole C. Pielop
BREMERTON, Wash. – Sailors from the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Multicultural Heritage Society put on a Breast Cancer Awareness Social in honor of those who have and are currently going through the struggles of breast cancer, Oct. 21.
“Two years ago my mentor got me to help with the breast cancer awareness social,” said Culinary Specialist 3rd Class Geeair Hargrove, from Kansas City, Mo. “It was a nice event, but it wasn’t near and dear to me until I had a friend on board leave because of breast cancer. After she left, I decided I had to keep the tradition going.”
While some remembered the survivors of breast cancer, others’ thoughts were with ones who have lost the battle.
“An event like this is very relatable to those of us who have had someone close go through cancer,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Matt Compton, from Pell City, Ala. “My mother-in-law had breast cancer and passed away due to it. Something like this definitely hits a lot of us right at home.”
The breast cancer social had a different meaning to everyone that attended the event.
“Putting this event on is a time for us to stop and say ‘We’re thinking about you, we understand what you’re going through’,” said Compton. “It’s also a time for awareness and to reflect and see what we can do to support the crew members who have gone something like this.”
With more than 40,000 women passing away this year due to breast cancer, many Sailors are able to relate to the struggle of knowing someone fighting this terrible disease.
“We are trying to make people feel like they aren’t by themselves,” said Culinary Specialist Seaman Alisha Thomas, from Memphis, Tenn. “It’s all about the support. If someone in your family is fighting cancer, realize there are people on the ship just like you and you’re not alone.”
This year alone, more than 220,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is a dark subject, and the Sailors hosting the event want to let people know that avoiding it isn’t helping anyone.
“Theres something about people saying ‘We know how you feel, we understand your pain’,” said Thomas. “We are showing people that cancer isn’t going unnoticed and how important it is to get your yearly mammogram.”
With breast cancer affecting one in eight women, it is a devastating disease that can strike the least suspecting families.
“My aunt had breast cancer,” said Thomas. “There’s nothing wrong with a fight though. No matter what kind of cancer it is, it’s always worth a fight.”
With such bright emotions coming from an otherwise dark subject, the breast cancer awareness social 2015 was a success.
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