Inspiring us all: Warriors In Pink.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Ford Motor Company supports the cause this month, and all year long, through the Warriors in Pink program. The program features a line of apparel that raises funds, but what’s more incredible are the actual Warriors, women and men who have fought the disease in very different and very personal ways.
This is the 20th year that Ford has sponsored Warriors in Pink and they have chosen 20 amazing individuals as their Models of Courage to show that we can all make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. These are survivors and supporters who all inspire with their stories.
Introducing Aimee Bariteau, one of Ford’s Models of Courage
I spoke with one Model of Courage, Aimee Bariteau of Boston, Massachusetts to find out why she decided to participate in the program and what she hopes to accomplish.
Aimee was just 32 years old when she was diagnosed with Stage 2b – ER+ breast cancer and it was, as is so often the case, a complete shock. Perhaps more so because she was young, fit, and otherwise healthy. It was an unwelcome surprise and one that changed her life forever.
At the time of her diagnosis she was completing a lifelong dream of attending culinary school and her treatments meant she might not be able to finish. Aimee made the difficult decision to continue despite the risks and she saw her dream through and made it a reality.
As a breast cancer survivor, Aimee began volunteering for the Young Survival Coalition and after four years of working with the group, someone suggested that she’d be a perfect fit for Ford’s Models of Courage. Apparently, Ford agreed and now Aimee is sharing her story, and helping those affected by breast cancer.
I asked Aimee about her goal in working with the program and she said she hoped to spread the message that, “Anyone is at risk.”
Breast cancer can happen to anyone
Aimee didn’t seem like the kind of person who would get breast cancer, yet it happened, and it can happen to anyone, anytime, without warning. She wants everyone to be vigilant and aware of the disease to help with early detection since the earlier breast cancer is found, the greater the chances of survival.
It’s been an amazing time for Aimee, and although she’s done some pretty incredible things since becoming a Model of Courage, what sticks in her mind as being the most amazing so far is learning to ride a bike! She’s been interviewed and appeared on television, but it’s not the glitz and glamour, just the simple act of living and doing new things that have impressed her most.
Speaking with Aimee was inspirational; she is passionate about supporting those fighting their own breast cancer battles. I asked her what advice she had for those in the midst of that fight and her answer was one based on how she reacted after her diagnosis.
She was frightened and overwhelmed, yet determined that she could beat the disease all on her own. Aimee didn’t want to rely on others, as though that somehow admitted a weakness, but soon realized that relying on the support of others is a part of how to win the breast cancer battle. Her words are ones that we can all take to heart and should remember no matter the battles we face during our lives.
With a little help from our friends and family
“Reach out. There are so many people who will support you. You don’t have to go through this alone. People want to help. Let them help.”
Help. Support. Encouragement. Breast cancer may strike individuals, but it’s a battle that we win together. Thanks to Models of Courage like Aimee, and Ford’s Warriors in Pink program. Show your support and shop now!