Could there be anything more magical than a pink castle? Illuminated in pink light from the tops of the towers to the edge of the moat, the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy honored Italian women and men who have faced or are facing breast cancer by glowing pink May 12 – 14.
The castle, made famous by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes as their wedding location, turned pink as an opening event for breast cancer initiatives culminating in the Susan G. Komen Rome Race for the Cure®, Komen’s largest international Race, which will be held next Sunday. The castle’s inaugural lighting featured president of Susan G. Komen Italia, Professor Riccardo Masetti, Paola Lucci, deputy mayor for gender policies, and Princess Maria Pace Odescalchi, the owner of the 500-year-old castle.
The people of Bracciano, a small town outside of Rome, and the Odescalchi family sponsored and supported this Susan G. Komen Italia initiative and will continue to support the Komen Rome Race for the Cure, which takes place May 22 at the Stadio delle Terme di Caracalla.
Check out our slideshow of the castle below.
Since 2004, we have been working with American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee on the Women’s Health Empowerment Project to develop and build breast cancer awareness programs in Russia. WHEP is an innovative overseas public education movement that encourages the early detection of breast cancer. The program is currently active in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro and Russia. WHEP is presenting results of its four years of work in Russia and upcoming programs aimed at reducing mortality rates from breast cancer – a disease that kills 25,000 women in Russia each year. Our own Susan Brown and Ana Teasdale will be blogging from the conference itself, but did want to share some local color.
After 13 hours on an airplane from the US to Moscow, a one hour process through customs, another one hour drive to the hotel and a quick nap, we set out to see Moscow! Even though it is mid May, it was gray and windy with the temperature only in the mid 40s. This did not stop us from meeting with our program partners from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC): Itai Shamir (from JDC/NY), Katya Bashta (from JDC/Russia) and Nela Hasic (from JDC/Bosnia and Herzegovina).
Decked out in our Komen team shirts, we took in the impressive “must-see” sites of Moscow. We saw the Novodevichy Convent, Stalin’s Seven Sisters and the statue of Peter the Great. Passing the Kremlin, we ended at Red Square, also the site of Lenin’s Mausoleum and St. Basil’s Cathedral. Some say that that the name Red Square comes from the color of the bricks surrounding it, others say that it of political nature, and still others say that it is from the Russian word meaning beautiful. It was beautiful.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of our friends and a special Happy Mother’s Day to our friends surviving breast cancer today!
There are many traditions around Mother’s Day and one of ours is the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” program with Major League Baseball. Every Mother’s Day, MLB players, coaches and umpires wear pink wristbands and pink ribbon decals and use pink bats on this special day.
And, to recognize and honor those who have faced breast cancer, MLB recognizes 30 “Honorary Bat Girls” for Mother’s Day. The winners are selected from more than 1,500 entries written by themselves, family or friends about a special person facing breast cancer. See the contestants and winners and their stories at www.HonoraryBatGirl.com.
Each Honorary Bat Girl takes part in pre-game activities, is honored during an on-field ceremony, and receives pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game. For Clubs that are away on Mother’s Day, another home game in May will be selected to recognize that team’s Honorary Bat Girl.
In the three years of this program, more than 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast.
Thanks to Major League Baseball for doing its part to end breast cancer, forever, and thanks to all the Moms out there!
There are mixed messages about the health effects of drinking some alcohol. Scientific evidence can help you weigh the risks and benefits, but it’s clear that having more than a few drinks per week appears to increase breast cancer risk. Read more in our latest Komen Perspectives Article.
Telling lawmakers that “This is where the ribbon meets the road,” our Founder and CEO Nancy Brinker kicked off the Komen Advocacy Alliance Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. this morning, with hundreds of our Affiliate and Advocacy Alliance representatives on hand to fight for breast cancer issues.
As in years past, advocates in pink streamed across Capitol Hill urging lawmakers to preserve early detection and treatment programs, especially for vulnerable groups such as the poor and uninsured, and to maintain federal investments in cancer research.
It was a standing-room-only crowd as about 40 congressional members joined advocates for the launch breakfast this morning. Nancy acknowledged the difficulty lawmakers will have in tough budgetary times and pledged partnership saying “We’re not here just with our hands out, but extending our hands in partnership to help save lives.”
She took the opportunity to announce our $58 million in research funding for 2011, going to 80 grants at 56 institutions worldwide. We have more information about our 2011 research grants slate here.
Be sure to check out the pictures from our event this morning in the slideshow below.