Making strides against breast cancer
Real Men Wear Pink
By Linda T. Fortenberry, Ph.D.
Special to the Outlook
The 2017 “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer – Real Men Wear Pink” has far surpassed expectations.
Embracing the mantra “Beating breast cancer takes more than medicine” this year’s group of distinguished “Real Men Wear Pink” ambassadors have enthusiastically given financial as well as informational support, encouragement, and inspiration to the community at large. Representing all spectra of Leon County, the 2017 “Real Men” have participated in various fundraisers and walkathons.
Deedee Rudd, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and Financial Advisor with the MDWD Wealth Management Group of Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith, Inc. provided a great prospectus on the selection of the 2017 “Real Men”. “Early on during the selection process I knew we needed community leaders who could lead the charge of providing education on breast cancer, informing our community of the resources that are available right here to them, overall, increase in awareness.. Immediately, Rev. Holmes was one of the top candidates on my list to approach and ask for his participation in the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. I knew that if we had the right men that the fundraising goal wouldn’t be a problem…the people would want to help with donations for the much needed research. Rev. Holmes’ response was “absolutely.” He has engaged not only his congregation but also his center of influences throughout this month. I was personally moved by how he engaged his entire congregation in being a part of his efforts by designating Oct. 8 as Breast Cancer Survivor – Awareness Day. I was truly blessed by the music and message that day. It was so uplifting and something that breast cancer survivors can relate to from a biblical standpoint. It also is a message that those that get that dreaded phone call you have cancer can hold on to. As expected, by having Rev. R. B. Holmes as one of our Real Men Wear Pink, he more than doubled his fundraising goal and truly rose to the top as one of our Top Community Leaders.”
Kristee Teal, Community Development Manager, Southeast Region of the American Cancer Society, observed the following: “I have been so moved by Rev. Holmes and his Bethel Missionary Baptist Church family and all of the other community leaders participating in our 2nd annual Real Men Wear Pink Campaign. They have all gone above and beyond in not only promoting awareness for breast cancer this month, but in raising funds in creative, moving and inspiring ways! I know that the success of this year’s Real Men already has other community leaders wanting to be sure that they are committed to be a part of this great campaign next year. These men are helping to save many more lives! It looks like this campaign is going to hit well over $40,000 as the men still have until Oct. 31 to continue raising funds.”
Lorraine Nichols, a two-time cancer survivor, escorted her pastor, Reverend Holmes at the Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Sunday, Oct.15. Mrs. Nichols commented: “Visibly leading by example is a wonderful way to show support and help one another in the fight for a cure for Breast Cancer. My personal feeling about the Breast Cancer walk is it’s an awesome event. Being a two time breast cancer survivor, it means so much to know that so many people care and that I’m not alone. I am truly blessed knowing that God brought us all together on one accord to bring awareness about breast cancer.”
Information and resources regarding cancer awareness are available at www.cancer.org.