Pink bracelets show solidarity in breast cancer fight
Justin Tardiff | Wednesday, November 10, 2004
The Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campuses are ‘banding’ together in the fight against breast cancer, as separate pink wristband campaigns are running at both schoolsAt Notre Dame, the Women in Social Service and Health (WISSH) circulated the wristbands through dorms last week as a fundraising effort for breast cancer patients.”This is the first thing we’ve been able to get out there,” senior Ashley Merusi, co-president of the newly formed WISSH, said. “I’ve seen [them] around campus, and I’ve been getting good feedback.”WISSH had, until last year, been known as the Women’s Resource Center. But when the full-time Gender Resource Center was developed, the WRC members felt they had to redefine their student-run club.”As the Gender Resource Center grew, we had decided we weren’t really needed anymore,” Merusi said. “We’ve switched our focus to fundraising, awareness and service projects. We still distribute information, but we are no longer the primary source.” Prompted by the national success of the LiveStrong yellow bracelets, whose proceeds supported the Lance Armstrong Foundation and cancer survivors, Merusi said WISSH wanted to simultaneously raise money and increase breast cancer awareness.”People like to give money to good causes,” Merusi said. “When it is something they can wear and, as opposed to a T-shirt, wear everyday to show support, it reminds everyone that [breast cancer] is a constant issue.”The pink bracelets sport the phrase “Notre Dame Fighting Breast Cancer WISSH” and are sold for $2. Proceeds will go to the South Bend community.”We are trying to come up with the best place [to donate the money to] right now. We want the money to go toward treatment, not research,” Merusi said. “We want it to help a woman who has [breast cancer], whatever stage she is at … give her heat for the winter, whatever we can do.”WISSH spent $500 making 1,000 bracelets. According to Merusi, the manufacturing costs will be taken from the WISSH club fund, allowing 100 percent of the proceeds to go toward breast-cancer patients. Merusi hoped to sell all the bands and raise $2,000 by the end of November. “I distributed them at Hall Council and I only have 150 left within two days,” Merusi said. “I don’t know, though, how many have been sold within the dorms … I would love to order more.”Students can purchase the bands through their hall presidents.At Saint Mary’s, Le Mans Hall resident assistant Kate Brand is running the campaign herself. Brand was introduced to the wristband concept by her sister, a freshman at Indiana University who bought one for her from a friend at school.”After talking to [my sister] about what her friend had done at IU with the bracelets to raise money and show support for the cause, I thought it would be a great thing to do at SMC, especially being an all-women’s college,” Brand said. Four hundred have been sold thus far during the three-week campaign, with Brand ordering a second shipment of 200 after the first ran out.