Local Paramedics raise funds in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on Monday October 30, 2017

Members of Cornwall SDG Paramedic Services marked Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a show of support that raised some funds in the process.

The traditional navy blue Paramedic uniform has taken on a slightly different look during the month of October. Members have been sporting bright pink epaulettes on their shoulders in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The tradition started three years ago and has continued to grow each year, both within the service and in the community.

“It’s a little detail but it catches people right off the bat,” said Paramedic Keely Beckstead, who organized the initiative this year. “Our Paramedics look forward to it. It’s a nice team-building thing.”

Paramedics purchase the epaulettes and the surplus funds are donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. The Paramedics’ union, CUPE Local 5734, also donates to the cause. This year’s total was $570.

Mrs. Beckstead said the cause is one that Paramedics can certainly relate to, be it through family, friends or even patients they serve.

“Everybody has been affected by (cancer) in one way or the other,” she said. “It shows the community that we care. Every little bit helps.”

So far this year, the Canadian Cancer Society has dedicated $12 million to fund a wide range of research projects related to breast cancer. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Canadian Cancer Society aims to increase awareness about breast cancer screening, research, treatment and support. It’s also a chance to celebrate the progress that’s been made in improving the prevention and treatment of these cancers and the quality of life of those living with and beyond these cancers.

“We’re thankful for the generous donation received today by the Cornwall SDG Paramedics and CUPE 5734,” said Allison St-Jean, Community Fundraising Specialist, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “We are grateful for their effort in assisting us to raise awareness about breast cancer in our community.”

It’s one of several causes the Paramedics support each year. They also support the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Agape Centre through separate events.

A group of Paramedics have also formed Wish Upon A Medic, a charity that raises funds to help children battling disease or injury and the people who support them. The charity was inspired by a successful one-time fundraiser in April 2015 called "Medics for Meghan." Meghan Keeler was then an 8 year old girl who had been diagnosed with a form of cancer that affects soft tissues. Today, she is happy and healthy and has responded well to a very long treatment process.