The history of using a ribbon as a token of remembrance can be traced back to the 19th century. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, red ribbons began appearing to support AIDS awareness, and other charitable organizations and endeavors began following suit. In 1992, according to the breast cancer guide on About.com, Alexandra Penney (then the editor-in-chief of Self magazine) and Evelyn Lauder (breast cancer survivor and senior corporate vice president of Estée Lauder)
“teamed up to create a pink ribbon. … The Estée Lauder Company went directly to their makeup counters with 1.5 million ribbons. Along with those pink ribbons, each woman was given a breast self-exam card, and in return, the company collected more than 200,000 pink ribbon petitions aimed at the White House asking for increased funding for breast cancer research.”
The pink ribbon, the feminine colour so chosen means health, vitality and empowerment of women. Wear it with pride. The global awareness that has been raised through the pink ribbon has helped increase early detection of breast cancer, make women more aware of the importance of doing regular breast self-examinations, and increase funds directed toward finding a cure.
The pink ribbon is an international symbol of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons, and the colour pink in general, identify the wearer or promoter with the breast cancer brand and express moral support for women with breast cancer during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast Cancer is something that affects friends, families, and loved ones. To support the awareness of breast cancer, Solis Ortus started the pink karate belt tradition about 3 – 4 years back during the month of October. We have marched throughout the night, sing, doing katas as a symbol of fighting against cancer and breaking “walls”. This tradition will carry on in our dojo every year where every karateka of all ages in the dojo will show how they can help kick and punch breast cancer by wearing pink belts in class during the month of October. This symbolises not only our support to Breast cancer but also has become synonymous with karate strength, technique, and empowerment. By introducing this tradition, Solis Ortus also empowers their karatekas to understand the 5 principles in karate. Always have the right attitude, frame of mind and virtues to strive for both within the dojo, and outside.
In addition to shining a light on the importance of annual screenings, breast cancer awareness month also generates funding for breast cancer research. With every new belt bought and a training pink belt fee of previously bought pink belts, Solis Ortus have donated R1 500 to support the cause of Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women, and the second main cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. In 2017, around 252 710 new diagnoses of breast cancer are expected in women, and around 40 610 women are likely to die from the disease.
Breast cancer can also affect men although a rare disease. Less than 1% of all breast cancers occur in men. In 2017, about 2, 470 men are expected to be diagnosed with the disease. For men, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 1 000.
Written by: Heilethe Calitz