GSU to shed light on breast cancer

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  • As a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, GSU is partnering up to show support for those affected by breast cancer.Photo courtesy of: Colleges Against Cancer

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Caitlyn Oliver


Georgia Southern University is partnering with other organizations on campus today in the Williams Center Multipurpose room to raise awareness for and help fight breast cancer as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The event “Blow Out Breast Cancer” uses candles to remember and honor those who have suffered or are suffering from breast cancer. The candles will be sold for $2 before and during the event and can be engraved with names of those affected by breast cancer.

“The event is meant to help put people in the perspective of the survivor or a family member dealing with cancer, a point of view we don’t always think about,” LaShai Joshua, president of GSU’s American Cancer Society’s Colleges Against Cancer, said.

There will be a moment of silence in remembrance for those people and then the candles will be blown out.

“There will be a couple of survivor testimonies. It’s supposed to be really powerful,” Megan White, public relations chair for Colleges Against Cancer, said.

Three speakers will be there to tell personal stories and give information on breast cancer.  Two of the speakers are cancer survivors.

The idea for this event came three years ago from Joshua and Marah Johnson, former Colleges Against Cancer presidents.

Both felt the affects of breast cancer through a family member and thought the event would be a comfort to others who have lost someone or have been affected by breast cancer.

“My mother passed away from breast cancer in 2004 two months before my thirteenth birthday,” Joshua said.

Joshua’s mother was diagnosed in 2002 and started chemotherapy and eventually had a mastectomy.

“As she began to physically deteriorate, she taught me how to take care of her, my brothers and our home. In hindsight, it’s kind of like she was preparing me for when she wasn’t going to be around although I never thought she was going to pass away,” Joshua said.

“Blow Out Breast Cancer” is a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month across the globe. Every October breast cancer charities and other organizations raise awareness of the disease and raise funds for research, treatment and prevention.

“We often don’t realize if someone is going through a terminal illness. No one expects to die. We tend to go through life carefree,” Joshua said.

Martha Hughes is the faculty advisor for Colleges Against Cancer, a breast cancer survivor and a foreign language professor at GSU.

“We’re trying to raise awareness because anyone who knows anything about cancer in general is that early detection is the key,” Hughes said.

The other speakers are La’Shanda Johnson, assistant director of Health Services, and Dr. Marc Bisseck, founder of the Statesboro Bulloch County Breast Cancer Foundation.

The event will feature music and food, as well as a skit performed by Theatre South depicting scenes from the play “Clean House.”