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Per Stirling Volunteers! – Breast Cancer Awareness

In the United States, half of all women and a third of all men will likely be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. As such, the odds are that we will all be affected in some way by this terrible disease, whether it’s a personal diagnosis or a friend or family member developing cancer.

Exciting and innovative advances in research, prevention and treatment are taking place, from artificial intelligence-based detection of cervical precancers, to improved global access to HPV vaccines in low and middle-income countries. Still, we have a way to go in tackling this pervasive disease, so it’s important to keep up awareness and to contribute to the cause.

Per Stirling’s Volunteer Initiative for September focused efforts on cancer awareness. September is the home of many cancer awareness initiatives, including ones for childhood cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer and leukemia & lymphoma.

Several members of the Per Stirling family have personally battled cancer, and most have beaten this insidious disease.  One such survivor, Heather McAshan, was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer in January of 2016. After having surgery, she went through 6 rounds of chemotherapy and 36 rounds of radiation therapy and today she is cancer-free.

With this being so “close to home” for all of us, our team at Per Stirling is very passionate about this important cause. Last year we were all able to join together in the Susan G. Komen’s More Than Pink Walk to walk alongside our coworkers and other cancer survivors, to show support and to celebrate life. However, with covid-19 and social distancing still limiting in-person activities, we were not able to walk side-by-side this year, but we still came together and completed our walks virtually with other cancer survivors who shared stories, supported one another and raised money to help save lives.

Per Stirling’s staff and advisors raised over $2,000 in the month of September for our initiative. All funds raised help support Komen’s work to save lives through breakthrough research, advocacy and support, including through Komen’s Breast Care Helpline, Clinical Trial Information Helpline, Treatment Assistance Program and other direct patient support services. Every donation to Susan G. Komen’s More Than Pink helps the organization get closer to their goal of reducing the number of breast cancer deaths by 50% by the year 2026.

According to Heather, “Each day of my journey presented new challenges and I tried to face them with a smile on my face. The journey was not an easy one, and without the support and encouragement of my friends and families I do not know how I could have done it.”

We are inspired by Heather’s strength and attitude. She says, “Cancer is a club I do not want anyone to have to join. I share my story so others might learn from it.”

Our October Initiative:  The year 2020 has catalyzed a great many challenges for people all over the world. People that already deal with mental health issues are feeling a new level of struggles, and this pandemic has forced many to confront mental health challenges for the first time.  As such, we have decided to focus October’s Volunteer Initiative on mental health awareness, and services that help to combat it.

Group Photos were added from last year’s More Than Pink Walk.