Steppin’ out against cancerStudents, teachers and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Superior are packing a pink treadmill and dousing the campus in pink to call attention to breast cancer.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Students, teachers and staff at the University of Wisconsin-Superior are packing a pink treadmill and dousing the campus in pink to call attention to breast cancer.
“Our campus in general is really grasping pink month and the pink campaign,” said Krisi Patterson, assistant director of campus recreation. During October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, every mile logged on a pink CYBEX treadmill at the Marcovich Health and Wellness Center is earning 10 cents for the Breast Cancer Foundation.
“Last year, we had 900 miles total,” Patterson said. This year, they are aiming for 2,000. To encourage more miles, the UWS Athletic Department threw out a challenge. Departments and organizations were urged to sign up a block of time on the treadmill. Whichever group logs the most miles during their time will win pink T-shirts for every member.
To date, the UWS Athletic Department is in the lead. They racked up 84 miles in one day. Second place honors currently rest with the UWS track and field team, who ran and walked 68 miles during their day. Two more challengers — the first year experience group and the UWS admission staff — have yet to tackle the treadmill.
“I think it’s a fun way to help others,” Patterson said. The pink treadmill adds color to the Fitness Room and creates conversation during new student tours.
“I like that a lot, it gives us that little change to say ‘we support this cause,’” Patterson said. “And you wouldn’t believe the amount of new students and staff that say ‘my mom had breast cancer, or my sister was just diagnosed …’
“Breast cancer (and all cancers) touches everyone, so doing a little bit to help is the least we can do.”
The treadmill isn’t the only hint of pink at UWS. Offices throughout the campus have been seeing pink this week as part of an office decorating contest. Judging takes place today, with the pinkest office being crowned the winner. Patterson said she also encourages staff and students to dress in pink for the day.
Those interested in learning more about breast cancer may consider attending a free seminar sponsored by Essentia Health that takes place from 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Fitgers. Dr. Michelle Oman, a family practice physician at Essentia’s clinic in Aurora, Minn., will share her personal journey with cancer.
Oman promises an open and frank discussion about dealing with the diagnosis, considering treatment options and managing the impact on a woman’s family. She’ll share her experiences fighting cancer as a wife and a mother of two young children — like how she helped her sons get used to her hair loss. Oman started a reading contest for her son’s class — the winner got to draw on her bald head.
“I’ll try not to leave anything out,” she said. She hopes that her talk will inspire other women to start a conversation about breast cancer.
The event also includes a chance to chat with breast cancer experts, a discussion of breast cancer myths and mammography screening guidelines. The event is free, but registration is preferred. Call 218-786-4380 or email RSVP@essentiahealth.org.