When approached to be an ambassador for this year’s “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign in support of the American Cancer Society’s breast-cancer initiatives, KRIS 6 News’ own Paulo Salazar said he jumped at the opportunity.
“I had an (aunt) who, thankfully, survived cancer, and I wholeheartedly believe it’s because of the efforts from years past that the resources are available now,” he said.
Real Men Wear Pink is a fundraiser and an effort to raise awareness about breast cancer, said local American Cancer Society event manager Jessica Musquiez. The event, which began five years ago, runs throughout October and is spearheaded by men, giving them an opportunity to show support for a cause that traditionally is seen as a women’s issue.
What is not as well-known is that men also develop breast cancer. According to the ACS website, about 2,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in men, and about 500 men will die of breast cancer.
“Because of raising awareness -- and funding for programs is made available -- cancer is no longer a death sentence,” Paulo said.
He has seen what his family endured in their cancer journey, and he talked about how grateful he is for strides that groups such as the American Cancer Society have made to better serve families.
“It’s amazing that, if caught early enough, you can survive and live a full life,” he said, awed. “I’m grateful to be able to help make a difference.”
To participate, community leaders are nominated and compete in a fundraising competition. Musquiez said the local event usually features about 25 male community leaders, and they wear pink every day in October to show their support. Last year, Musquiez said 29 participants raised $32,000. This year's goal is $50,000.
The money raised stays local, said Musquiez, helping people in Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas.
"We see patients in our local office and provide them information they need for their diagnosis or treatment, " Musquiez said. "We provide head coverings to help when they start losing their hair. We even provide comport pillows that they can use after they have had surgery."
And Paulo knows he can’t reach his personal goal of $2,500 alone. That’s why he’s asking for your help. You can click here to donate.
"More work is still needed,” he said. "Even just a dollar can make a difference."