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Community, Early Detection, Personal Stories

Shannon’s Story: Bright Pink and ZTA in action

This post was originally published in 2016. 

Shannon Lane knows that you don’t need to personally have breast cancer to be affected by it. That’s why, as President of Northwestern University’s Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, the journalism senior has been instrumental in spreading Bright Pink’s mission across campus.

“Our philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness, and I am proud that it’s not just lip service,” she said. “Young women might not know enough about their risk for breast and ovarian cancer, so our work with Bright Pink is a very practical way for us to tap into the education aspect of what we do.”

Lane’s first encounter with Bright Pink was during an Educational Workshop held at her sorority chapter two years ago. Since then, she’s hosted a Brighten Up on campus open to all Greek life members, and her chapter held a school-wide presentation in 2016.

Despite her enthusiasm about the cause, it can be difficult to grab the attention of young women who have spent their lives thinking breast and ovarian health is a topic for those in their 50s.

Bright Pink’s teamwork with Zeta Tau Alpha helps us reach the next generation, which results in more proactive young women and more lives saved. Since 2015, Bright Pink has educated tens of thousands of Zeta Tau Alpha members annually.

After her first interaction with Bright Pink, Lane signed up for Bright Pink’s Breast Health Reminders™ — text message reminders to stay on top of her breast health. Before Bright Pink, she didn’t think Breast Self-Awareness applied to her age group.

“Bright Pink gives people the tools they need to take actual action,” she said. “They take a step beyond just awareness, and give young women practical knowledge that they can use in their everyday lives.”

Lane hopes that college students across the nation will see Zeta Tau Alpha as more than just a pink ribbon, and will begin to associate the sorority with action-oriented breast cancer awareness and education.

What’s the main thing Bright Pink has taught her?

“You can never start thinking about your long-term health early enough. There are always things you can do and steps you can take.”

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