Dressed in different shades of pink, with smiles on their faces, a wagon of women recently rode into the Shouse Arena in Filer, Idaho, to celebrate a significant milestone.
Sept. 1 was Tough Enough to Wear Pink night at the Twin Falls County Fair and Magic Valley Stampede. The women who rode together into the arena had one common thread; a small medallion engraved on with the word “survivor.”
As cancer survivors, those women are part of a powerful tradition that has helped shine a spotlight on cancer and raise money for prevention and treatment. In 2015, Tough Enough to Wear Pink in Twin Falls raised over $39,000.
“This is our 10th year with the Magic Valley Stampede,” said Stan Mai, Chairperson of Twin Falls Tough Enough to Wear Pink. “Even though Tough Enough to Wear Pink is a national organization, locally, every cent we raise, stays right here to help the women in the Magic Valley.”
Tough Enough to Wear Pink is a volunteer group that began by providing mammograms for people with little or no insurance. While that service still exists today, giving has expanded to include breast cancer diagnostic examination, which is the next step if a mammogram reveals anything suspicious.
The organization also contributes to the St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor Institute emergency breast cancer fund, which helps with the expenses incurred by those going through breast cancer treatment. This year, St. Luke’s Magic Valley helped sponsor Tough Enough to Wear Pink.
“We are just trying to raise awareness. The earlier you can detect, the better. It’s very survivable if it is detected early enough,” Mai said.
For more information about the group, visit Tough Enough to Wear Pink online.
Michelle Bartlome is the public relations manager at St. Luke's Magic Valley.