FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and one student at the University of Saint Francis is showing her support for the cause.
For Eliza Madden and countless others, Breast Cancer Awareness Month is very personal.
After wrapping up her freshman volleyball season, Madden found out that her mother was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, and it turned her world upside down.
With the full support of both her team and the Cougar Athletic Department, for the second year in a row, she helped to organize a “Pink Out” at the women’s volleyball game Wednesday night to raise awareness for people who are battling with cancer.
Those who attended had the opportunity to participate in a raffle for a Vera Bradley goodie basket and all proceeds went to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
Last year, Madden helped to raise over $500 to support the cause, and on Wednesday, they raised over $1,100.
Survivors in attendance were honored between sets two and three of the match, and Madden also got the chance to walk her mother, who is now in remission, across the court.
Through it all, she credited her mother as the source of her strength. Madden said, “… it was super hard to see, but my mom just powered right through it, and I knew that she was doing it for us, for herself and just more of being able to tell the world like, hey, I can get through this. You can throw this at me but it’s not going to matter.”
The girls at Grace College also participated in Wednesday’s event to show support for breast cancer and one of their fellow teammates who has thyroid cancer.
Madden chooses to speak out for other girls who may be going through the same thing, “… if you’re a daughter, you’re the hope to your mom or your grandma, you are what they’re fighting for so just be there for them even if you don’t think that you’re very strong.”