Take a walk through downtown Fort Wayne and you will see pink ribbons nearly everywhere.
And there are even more throughout the city.
But more than a decoration, each of the ribbons carries with them a story like Alex Cooper’s.
“I was diagnosed in 2003 with breast cancer and 14 years later I was diagnosed with breast cancer again and two years after that with colon cancer,” Cooper said.
Cooper, a former nurse, was 38-years-old with three young children when she got her first diagnosis.
“I was used to other people having these types of things and when it home it was really hard and I think it was mainly that I was thinking about my kids and how they would be without me,” explained Cooper.
Cooper fought through all three of her cancers and is now cancer free. She credits her recovery partly on early detection and new developments in treatment that come from research. Fundraisers like Vera Bradley’s ‘Turn the Town Pink’ campaign are key in helping that research happen.
“Over 10,000 pink ribbons and each one is made with a donation in honor or memory of a loved one,” added Executive Director of the Vera Bradley Foundation Lynda Houk. “So, together we are just showing our community and our community is wrapping their arms around us to fund breast cancer research because we want to find an end to this disease.”
It is a fight worth fighting for the people who wear pink with pride.
“The pink ribbons are beautiful, but that is what they symbolize and I hope people do remember that,” added Cooper.
The annual campaign kicked off Friday with Wear Pink Day.
Mayor Tom Henry has proclaimed May 3, 2019 as ‘Turn the Town Pink Day.’
It’s not too late to make a donation and receive a ribbon packet to put up at your business, home, or neighborhood. You can register for those here.