A Look Back at the Meaning of October

Katherine Arnaud '16, Writer

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October: A Time to Celebrate Life

The month of October was not just a time for pumpkins and Halloween candy … It’s a time to celebrate life! Of course, life is always something to celebrate, but October especially reminded us to take a moment to consider just how precious life is as we celebrated October as Breast Cancer Awareness as well as Respect Life month.

All too often we get so caught up in the busy whirlwind of our lives that we forget just how remarkable the world is and what it means to be truly live! But, a couple moments of reflection can do wonders. So I ask you to take those couple of moments to reflect on how wonderful it is to be alive.

Done?
Okay, now let me catch you up to speed on how October was a time when people chose to make a difference.

Breast Cancer Awareness

Almost everybody is “aware” of breast cancer, so why did we have a month dedicated to raising awareness?
Well let me ask you:
Did you know about 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the lifetime?
That’s mean you likely know someone who has, had, or will have breast cancer.
Did you know that breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women?
Or that although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year?

Sadly, those are true statistics. Breast cancer is a serious issue.
These facts come directly from the National Breast Cancer Foundation website.
I’m not trying to inspire a sort of “no one is safe” mentality, but it slightly changes your mindset, doesn’t it?
Sure, you knew breast cancer existed, but now you know that you or someone you know could potentially be at risk.

This is why we had a month dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer.
I think people often think they have nothing to worry about, and although this is true in most cases, it doesn’t hurt to be careful.

Early detection can make the difference between life and death. Over the years, screening methods have dramatically improved, making spotting cancerous tissue easier and more reliable. However, the effectiveness of early detection works hand in hand with awareness.

Moreover, hope continues to grow as treatment options improve as well. Nationwide, all sorts of people donate more to help research or provide funds for mammograms for women in need. Many organizations fundraise money through events such as walks, runs, swims, etc. All of these efforts combine into one strong fight against this terrible disease, giving hope to millions.

Respect Life

Less well-known is the fact that October was also Respect Life month. Respect Life celebrates all life–the unborn, the elderly, the healthy, the unhealthy, and everything in between.

The main focus of the Respect Life campaign is to support human life from conception until natural death. This organization opposes abortion and assisted suicide, which it views as threats to the sanctity of human life. If this is a cause you’d like to learn more about, consider contacting a member of MC’s Respect Life club.


How you can get involved next year:

Here at Marin Catholic, October is well celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness month and Respect Life month.

The Cancer Awareness Club hosts an annual bake sale in conjunction with Girls’ League to raise funds to donate to Breast Cancer Research. This year’s bake sale was a huge success, raising around $450 for the cause.

In addition, in October the Respect Life Club hosts their annual “Adopt-a-Mom” drive which collects baby items to give to mothers in need. The goal of this drive is to support mothers who would have had a hard time taking care of their child without the extra support. Last month, students brought donations–from diapers to pacifiers to new or gently used baby clothes and furniture–to their theology classes.

So what can you do next year?
First of all, if you’re interested, join the clubs!
Or you can participate in their respective fundraising efforts.
You can even take it a step further and find out how you can participate in the broader community!

Or, at least, you can join us in raising awareness.
We are all in this together!
And together we can make a difference!
I hope you join me in celebrating life!

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