Painted pink

On Oct. 1, Ferris State University will use 2,500 pink discs to set a new world record.

More importantly, both the university and local community will be making a difference in the lives of millions of people who have been affected by cancer.

Paint Big Rapids Pink is a community event allowing students to donate time and money to the Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Center.

As someone whose family has been affected by cancer, I understand the difference cancer support services can make in the remaining years of cancer fighters. A cancer diagnosis changes not only the lives of those diagnosed, but also the lives of close friends and family. It can be overwhelming and seem like an unconquerable disease.

If you’ve ever had someone close to you suffer from cancer, then you’re aware of the physical and emotional burden the family has to carry. You are also aware of the day-to-day appreciation cancer patients have for the time they’re allowed to spend with family and friends.

Though cancer has affected the lives of many students and community members, the one thing bigger than the influence of cancer is the difference a unified community can make in defeating the disease.

A study by the National Cancer Institute reported a decline in rates of cancer-related deaths since 2003. This has been accomplished by a conscious decision to change the lives of people we encounter everyday.

Whether it’s through donating a dollar, throwing a disc, running in stilettos, or showing your support by wearing pink, the statement we can make next month can be an impactful one.

Let us all help to paint Big Rapids pink and make a difference in the lives of the nearly eight million people affected by the disease today.