'Colors of Cancer' kicks off month of events

October is Colors of Cancer month in the Bitterroot and it began in earnest last Tuesday at the Colors of Cancer “Food Truck” Lunch held in the Emergency Department parking lot at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital. Proceeds generated from this Food Truck Lunch and all other Colors of Cancer events during October are donated to the Daly Hospital foundation and matched by Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital.

According to MDMH marketing director Amy James-Linton, the hospital made its first efforts focused on raising money specifically for breast cancer screening in 2011. She said it quickly morphed into the Sprinkle Pink campaign and went community wide in 2012.

Breast cancer is the most diagnosed form of cancer today. The statistics are staggering. It states on www.cancer.gov that 271,270 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2018.

James-Linton said that the Sprinkle Pink campaign was very successful in focusing the community on the need for breast cancer screening, but it became evident quickly that the community needed to become more aware of all kinds of cancer screening that is now available and can help detect many kinds of cancer in the early stages.

Just like for breast cancer, there are screening tests for other kinds of cancer, including lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, melanoma of the skin, bladder cancer, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, and many others.

The statistics, again, are startling. It was estimated that in 2018, 1,735,350 new cases of cancer would be diagnosed in the U.S. and 609,640 people would die of the disease. James-Linton said that one out of every two people alive today will get some form of cancer in their lifetime. This realization led the Marcus Daly Foundation to push to expand Sprinkle Pink into the Color of Cancers campaign.

“With cancer becoming so prevalent,” she said, “it makes it very important for the community to have access to cancer screenings of every sort. We addressed that by expanding Sprinkle Pink into the Colors of Cancer.”

Linda Dobbs, an oncology nurse who serves on the Board and had dropped by the Food Truck Lunch, said the event meant a lot to her.

“The increased awareness on the part of the public as to what risks are out there and how to manage it, means a lot,” she said, “and coming together as a community to help support those people who have cancer and have to deal with it and need the support system, that’s a wonderful thing.”

Marcus Daly Foundation board member Stacie Duce, who helped organize and manage the event, said that the turn-out was great. Things were going so well, in fact, that they had run out of the “funny money” used to keep track of vendor sales. The solution was to tally some of the totals and recycle the “funny money” to be used again.

“That’s the kind of problem it’s nice to have,” commented Duce. She said another good sign was the number of new teams that had been added, a new Grey Team and a Lime Green Team. More students were getting involved as well. She said that members of the Corvallis Volleyball Team had formed a Lavender Team and were holding a bake sale. She said Hamilton held a Pink-Out fundraiser.

“For me this is all about the grassroots efforts,” said Duce. “People who want to support the hospital and the community. It’s just beautiful.

The donations to each color, i.e. each type of cancer, are earmarked and tracked for expenditure on screening tests or equipment that directly address that type of cancer.

Many events are planned throughout the month. Pint Nights are planned at Higher Ground Brewery this Thursday and at Naps restaurant on Saturday. A Wild Windy’s Bake Sale is scheduled at Canyons Athletic Club on Wednesday, October 9 and a barbeque is being hosted by Valley Drug in Stevensville the same day. There is a Pink Lady’s Night planned at Hamilton’s Market on Thursday and a Sprinkle Pink Tennis Tournament is set to run Oct. 11-13 at Canyons Athletic Club.

Registration has opened for the 5K Fun Run/Survivor’s Walk on Saturday, Oct. 12.

An Art and More silent auction is being held at Marcus Daly Hospital on Oct. 24-25.

The Turn & Burn Barrel Race is set for Oct. 27 at the Sapphire Event Center in Corvallis.

For more information about the upcoming events visit MDMH.org/events and for questions about Color Teams call the Daly Hospital Foundation at 406-375-4874.

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