‘Pretty in Pink’ Parade Illuminates Loch Raven Drive

0
51

— The entire student body of Cardinal Shehan School was “pretty in pink” last week for the school’s second annual Pink Parade, bringing attention the fight against breast cancer.

Close to 400 students, parents, teachers, friends and alumni/ae gathered in front of the school and marched through the Loch Raven community to champion breast cancer, memorialize instructors and loved ones who succumbed to the disease and raise funds for innovations to transform the lives of breast cancer survivors.

Principal Fametta Jackson led the charge for the school and walked with her students through the community.

“Breast cancer is something near and dear to our hearts. We recently lost a loved one at the school, Ms. Mahallack; and two years ago we lost another member of the Shehan community, Ms. Byrd,” said Jackson. “We all have been touched directly or indirectly by breast cancer. We just wanted to paint the area pink and encourage both our school community and the broader neighborhood.”

For eighth grader Laura Leek, the Pink Parade was a personal way to remember a family member who suffered from the disease. “My grandmother, Laura Leek, passed away from breast cancer, so today’s walk meant a lot to me,” Leek said.

Tracey Johnson, parent volunteer and secretary for the Cardinal Shehan Home School Association, has faith that there’s a cure on the horizon.

“We’re raising money for the breast cancer cause. A lot of us have family members and friends who have lost loved ones to breast cancer. With God’s prayer, we’ll find the cure soon and I hope that maybe even one of our Cardinal Shehan students will be part of finding that cure,” Johnson said.

Lisa Taylor, an art teacher and librarian at the school is the founder of the Pink Parade initiative.

“Our vision was to create an event that would honor our two teachers who passed from breast cancer. We wanted to make it fun and lively. We wanted to encourage our students to help their families to get check-ups,” Taylor said. “This is our second year of donating to the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel cancer Center. This year the school will make a $1000 donation.”

The school got off to a good start the first year with a $700 donation, said Taylor.

Several fathers came out to support their daughters at Cardinal Shehan to let them know that men wear pink and are concerned about breast cancer, too.

“My daughter’s mother is a breast cancer survivor. So, it’s important for the kids to understand what’s going on,” said Anthony Oliver, a parent with two children enrolled at Cardinal Shehan.

Another student’s father, Simon Benjamin, was dressed head-to-toe in pink.

“It’s important to be here with my dad today because we’re family,” said Benjamin. Her father Simon said it’s his responsibility as a father to make sure Sydney is equipped with the knowledge to make healthy decision about her lifestyle as she becomes a young woman.

“I have a young lady, so I have to [make] her aware and keep her on top of things.”

Taylor is already thinking ahead to next year and ways to reach out to neighborhood churches and other community institutions that have responded to the excitement of this year’s Pink Parade. She was especially grateful that several Cardinal Shehan alumni/ae returned to support the event.

“Our students are really more aware of breast cancer than we realize,” Taylor said.

Principal Jackson is proud that the Pink Parade enables her students to demonstrate peacemaking to the entire community.

“Unfortunately we have people who don’t practice peacemaking as much as we would like. So, we the role models and examples of peace,” Jackson said.