October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I got into a long conversation about breast cancer with some Delta Airlines flight attendants, not long ago. I was on a flight from Atlanta to Las Vegas.
Why did cancer come up?
I was traveling with a friend who had been recently diagnosed with a different form of the Big C.
My friend was in a lot of pain (and on serious drugs). She would be starting treatment within days. The flight attendants could see that something was up.
Not only did they take a special interest in Buffy (not her real name, but hopefully she’ll get a kick out of that when she reads this), they even pilfered a bottle of wine from first class for me. They wrapped it in a newspaper and told me to take it back to my hotel room after the flight.
It was a “we can’t do anything else to help, so here, have some wine” gesture. And I was touched.
What they told me was shocking – and I’ve read more about it since.
Flights attendants and pilots are much more likely than the rest of us to develop certain cancers – breast and skin cancers, specifically. And the longer their career in the air lasts, the higher their risks.
So it’s nice to see Delta continuing their partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
In the past ten years, Delta employees and customers have raised over $9 million to help fund research and awareness. BCRF is one of the most respected organizations of its type. Currently, they have over 240 researchers working on six continents to study details related to lifestyle and prevention, hereditity and ethnicity, tumor biology, treatments and survivorship.
Delta Breast Cancer One
Delta also flies a pink plane, a Boeing 767-400ER. This pretty bird was due for a repaint this year and now the entire fuselage is wrapped in a pink ribbon.
Yesterday also marked Delta’s 11th Annual Survivor Flight, which carried more than 140 employee breast cancer survivors from New York City to Mexico City. They flew the pink plane of course. And guests enjoyed a special welcome and reception in one of Aeromexico’s hangars, an overnight stay, dinner and a chance to meet and speak with Dr. Sofia Merajver, one of BCRF’s renowned researchers.
Delta employees will wear pink uniforms and sell pink products, including pink lemonade and pink headsets, on board and in Delta Sky Clubs throughout the month of October, as well. All proceeds will go to BCRF.
So pink airplanes can’t cure cancer, of course.
But pink PR means airlines like Delta can draw attention to this ongoing global challenge, once again. Bloggers will write about flight attendants and pink uniforms and breast cancer, and news crews may take a bit of time to cover the topic and a few more people will remember to donate to the cause, and a few more will remember that its time to schedule a mammogram and we will all talk about it a little and remember those we’ve lost and those who thrive.
It’s a “there’s not much else we can do, so here, have some wine” kind of gesture.
And that’s something.
Here’s how you can help.
If you’re flying Delta this month, order a Minute Maid® Pink Lemonade instead of your usual beverage. 100% of the beverage price gets donated to BCRF.
You can also shop the Delta Shop Flying Pink website where proceeds also go towards breast cancer research.
Or, you can simply make a donation on Delta’s site here.