Approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
With the numbers so high, nearly all of us know someone who has had breast cancer.
For Natasha Bazely, it was her grandmother. Sitting in hospital waiting rooms and attending doctor’s visits was eye-opening, and after the disease hit her family, Bazely was inspired to join the fight to end breast cancer.
“My grandmother’s diagnosis definitely made me want to do something [to help],” said Bazely, a junior communication and managerial economics double major. “When she was diagnosed, I know we didn’t experience anything close to what she did, but it almost felt like the entire family was diagnosed with it.“
Bazely said her grandmother underwent several surgeries and is now cancer-free.
She wanted to get involved on the UC Davis campus, but was surprised when no group specifically targeted to combat breast cancer existed.
So Bazely decided to start one herself, forming Pink-A-Live last spring.
The organization is just taking off on campus and will co-host its first event, Sing for the Cure, with the all-female a cappella group The Spokes.
Sing for the Cure, which will take place Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. on the MU patio, will feature speakers, live entertainment including performances by various UC Davis a cappella groups, raffles, food and drinks. All proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“[We want] to get a bunch of people on campus to come out and hopefully donate for the cause,” Bazely said, adding that her goal is $1,000.
The event was started because many of the girls in the Spokes have either family members or friends who were affected by breast cancer, said Jennifer Pugh, Spokes secretary and a junior English and art history double major.
They teamed up with Pink-A-Live when Bazely, also a member of UC Davis a cappella group The Lounge Lizards, learned of their plans and was enthusiastic about working together on their common goal and asked to co-host the event with them. In addition to being Pink-A-Live’s kick-off event, Sing for the Cure will also be the first philanthropy event The Spokes has organized.
Putting on the event with Pink-A-Live worked out really well, Pugh said.
“The Pink-A-Live girls are so great, they’re so passionate about what they do, especially [Bazely],” she said. “We would not have been able to do it without them.“
Besides Sing for the Cure, Bazely has many other plans for Pink-A-Live.
She said the club has three main goals: to raise money for research, to raise campuswide breast cancer awareness and to support breast cancer victims in any way needed, including psychologically and emotionally.
“We’re a really close group, we’re really trying to make a difference [and we’re] all really passionate,” said Beth Reedy, vice president of Pink-A-Live and a senior communication major. Like Bazely, breast cancer has also affected Reedy personally – her mother is a two-time survivor.
Reedy said focusing on combating breast cancer specifically makes the group more personal.
“We can help people that have been affected by this one type of cancer,” she said. “So many people [have been] diagnosed with it.“
Bazely said she also wants to focus on raising awareness of the root causes of cancer, such as looking into environmental factors and food choices to help stop the illness before it starts.
“In addition, if we research the environmental factors, we may find ways to get it under control and help victims of breast cancer ease the process of treatment through natural methods, such as watching their diets and knowing the right and wrong things to eat, and what in their diet can prevent it from coming back,” she said.
For more information on Pink-A-Live, e-mail Natasha Bazely at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ANNA OPALKA can be reached at email@example.com.