Pink at the Rink

This past Saturday, November 6, 2010, the IWireless Center here in Moline, IL turned the rink pink for a night for Quad City Mallards hockey game to raise awareness for breast cancer awareness. Anyone that has or has had breast cancer was eligible for free tickets. Since I have only ever been to one hockey game in my life, and since my kids have never been, I quickly contacted Genesis to be put on their mailing list. Here’s the clipping from the Quad City Times Online paper:

“Pink In The Rink” will benefit Genesis Foundation for breast cancer patients
Posted Online: Oct. 04, 2010, 12:46 pm
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Press release submitted by Quad City Mallards

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Oct. 1, 2010 — The Quad City Mallards, Genesis Medical Center and Cumulus Media will team up to support breast cancer awareness with “Pink In The Rink” night in the I wireless Center on Saturday, November 6 when the Mallards host the Bloomington Prairie Thunder.

The Mallards’ players will wear special pink jerseys during the November 6 game. The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned after the game with proceeds benefitting the Genesis Health Services Foundation.

“We feel privileged to be able to work together with Genesis Health System and Cumulus Media on Pink in the Rink Night,” said Mallards President Chris Presson. “The chance to aid a cause as important as the Genesis Health Services Foundation is one we are very happy to embrace.”

The first 1,000 fans through the doors will receive pink caps and breast cancer survivors will receive free tickets to the game, as supplies last.

Cumulus Media will provide media support for the event. “We are honored to be part of such a great event and important cause”, said Cheryl Riley, Market Manager for Cumulus Media. “Every ticket sold thru our media efforts will result in a $2 donation going to the Genesis Health Services Foundation, so we will be reminding our listeners to support the November 6 game.”

There will also be breast cancer information available at a concourse display throughout the evening.

“This year Genesis will treat 300 women with breast cancer and will provide nearly 30,000 screenings or diagnostic procedures,” explained Flo Spyrow, Vice President, Genesis Health System. “Breast cancer remains one of the most important women’s health issues facing all of us in the future and having the resources to provide access to screening for all women remains a goal of Genesis.”

Patients of the Kenneth H. McKay, M.D., Center For Breast Health have access to the latest diagnostic and screening tools in the region. The center also provides women with a skilled team of experts in various specialties, including family practice, radiology, surgery and social and emotional support.

Genesis participates in clinical trials on an ongoing basis. Those trials allow women with breast cancer to receive the latest treatment while being able to remain close to their homes.

“Genesis and the Quad City Mallards organization have been partners for many years. The loyal fans of the Mallards have allowed us to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the Genesis Health Services Foundation and its projects that benefit patients throughout the region,” said Craig Cooper, Media Relations Coordinator, Genesis Health System. “We look forward to this next partnership that should be a lot of fun for fans.

“We hope the entire i wireless Center looks pink on November 6 to again raise awareness for the issue of breast health.”

It was just a short year and a half ago that I would have given the middle finger up to anything that would try to make me part of some elite club. I didn’t want to even associate myself with the disease, was pissed as hell that I had it, or that others would also hear those words in their lifetime. I have worked through a lot of my anger–slowly and have realized a couple things. Bad shit happens to Good people. Period. Sometimes life isn’t fair. Deal with it. Man up. Quit whining. The only way for me to do that was to dive back into where I just spent a good year clawing desperately to get out. It’s that all or nothing part of me I talked about in the last post. So, when I hear of local events that promote breast health–my ears perk up. When I see a pink ribbon somewhere, in the paper, a magazine, a billboard, or on a pair of socks, shoelaces, shirt or even tattoed on someone’s skin–I pause. If it has to do with a person–I go up to them and talk to them. I ask if they wear that badge in honor or memory of someone. I listen. I watch that person’s eyes light up for a moment in gratitude that someone would want to hear about their loved one. Sometimes, that’s all a person needs. That way, the memory of that loved one has not gone unnoticed.

Anyway–I received my tickets and began making plans for the family to have a night out enjoying a sporting event (one that we wouldn’t normally have chosen to go to). I was excited to see the rink turn pink like in this picture:

I went shopping at our local Goodwill store for pink shirts for everyone to wear. I love that place and sometimes its a curse that I live so close to it! I almost always find exactly what I’m looking for–for pennies on the dollar. This trip was no exception–super soft sweater for me, a fleece pullover for Justin and a brand new (tags still on) pink Ralph Lauren Polo with navy blue trim on the sleeves and collar for Jeff. Jordan said she already had something so for less than $10, we were now outfitted to go pink at the rink! Once I got home, I learned that Jeff was not going to be going with. Don’t get me started…I mean, I know he doesn’t care for hockey and that he had a ton of work to do or homework to do (I sent him back to college this semester on my dime after I took the semester off so), but I have never been into hockey either and that’s not what it was about. It wasn’t even about the pink thing–it was just an hour of family time, and I had secured free tickets for all of us and now he didn’t want to participate–for just an HOUR. I was bummed, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my night out, so we went without him. We actually had a really good time, but we were all bummed that our ice was not pink.

Wish the ice would have been pink!

Justin forgot about wearing a "girl's" pullover once the popcorn was bought!

When I go to events like this, I am surrounded by women and children and families big and small that have been affected by cancer. There is an unspoken acknowledgement of each other as we briefly meet each other’s gaze in passing. Some nod, some smile, some look tired or worn out from the chemo, some are happy to be enjoying a night out with their families, some are oblivious, –but the magnitude of the cause remains the constant. Silent auctions for team member’s pink ribboned emblazoned jerseys were going on, T-shirts were being sold, information booths stood vigil. I was happy to be there with my kids. I was happy to have gotten free tickets. I was happy to see the look on my little boy’s face when I bought him own LARGE popcorn–his very own–and he squeezed my hand and told me, “Mommy, I love you soooooo much! Thank You!!” That’s all it took–for him to forget the argument we had had earlier about wearing a pink “girl’s” fleece pullover despite me countering with “Lots of guys wear pink!”. It was all it took for me to be reminded once again, that I am just exactly where I am supposed to be in this circle of life–sitting in a nosebleed section trying to get my camera to focus on a macro mode, hanging with my kids on a Saturday night. I just wish the other two members of my family would feel the same and would have been with me as well, but I take what I can get these days and try to feel grateful for those moments when they come. I just wish they’d come more often.

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