By Tala Alsharif
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a campaign that takes place in October to raise awareness and educate people on screening and early detection of breast cancer, according to UCLA Health.
The sorority Zeta Tau Alpha is raising awareness about breast cancer at Youngstown State University as it is the sorority’s national philanthropy.
Daniella Hosack, senior biology major and president of Zeta Tau Alpha, explained one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer and men can be diagnosed as well.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation stated breast cancer death rates have declined by 40% because of improvements in early detection.
Hosack said the sorority believes it’s important to celebrate breast cancer survivors.
“Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to us, is honoring those who didn’t survive from breast cancer and celebrating the survivors we have — especially in our area,” Hosack said. “It’s bringing more awareness towards … self-breast exams to catch early signs.”
During October, the sorority hosted events such as painting the rock, fundraisers and competitions for sororities and fraternities.
“We did a Swenson’s fundraiser … an AG Beauty fundraiser where 10% or 15% would go towards our philanthropy,” Hosack said.
Traditionally, Zeta Tau Alpha has a big philanthropy event toward the end of the month. This year the sorority hosted a Pink Pancake breakfast, where students dyed pancakes pink, served breakfast, sold raffle tickets and t-shirts.
One of the sorority’s affiliates is the National Football League and they’re invited to pass out pink ribbons at a Cleveland Browns game every year.
Hosack said she enjoys seeing the impact Breast Cancer Awareness Month has on people.
“It’s really awesome to see … people get so excited about it,” Hosack said. “I’ve got to meet new survivors [and] old survivors that we’ve seen … recurring every year. It’s really cool to see how important it is to them.
Zeta also hosted Pink Out Week from Oct. 8 to Oct. 14 to promote breast cancer awareness and education by having fundraisers and mini events.
Hosack said she hopes the week taught students more about the importance of at-home breast care exams and to realize how common breast cancer is.
She also hopes to see students involved with ZTA philanthropy events and loves seeing them show their support by wearing pink ribbons.
“It’s really cool to see people get involved and to wear their pink ribbons for the month of October,” Hosack said. “I love seeing people put the pink ribbon on their bookbag.”
Zeta Tau Alpha is working toward a bigger philanthropy event on campus in the future.
“In the past, we did a huge event called the Pink Ribbon Cheer Classic, which happened for 20 years. We had one [virtual year] and we raised, I think, $1.5 million to total it all up.” Hosack said.
In its 20th anniversary, the sorority raised $48,000. Hosack said she wants to reach that level again.
Students interested in Zeta Tau Alpha’s fundraiser can visit the link found on its instagram @deltazeta_ysu. Students who want to learn more about breast cancer awareness month can visit its national website.