The sisters of Zeta Tau Alpha had always organized and participated in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities, passing out pink ribbons, collecting yogurt lids as part of Yoplait’s Save Lids to Save Lives campaign, and donning running shoes and shorts for the Susan G. Komen Race for a Cure. But this year they ramped up their efforts by bringing to the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus some of the many survivors who have conquered a disease that is the most common form of cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity.
Teaming up with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UM chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha hosted a Survivors Celebration Tuesday as part of its Think Pink Week of activities. Wearing T-shirts that read “Think Pink,” survivors joined ZTA sisters on the Foote Green to form a human pink ribbon, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness.
“We have so many sisters who have been directly impacted by this disease,” said Laura Zebib, director of philanthropy for the UM chapter of the women’s fraternity that has made breast cancer awareness its key focus. “Education is really the key to prevention, especially in young women.”
To that end, breast cancer survivors Lainey Kieffer, a UM family nurse practitioner, and author Paula Holland Delong spoke, respectively, about early diagnosis in college-age women and life after breast cancer.
As part of ZTA’s Think Pink Week, the fraternity also spearheaded efforts to turn UM into a pinked-out campus with the Coral Gables campus’s iconic fountains illuminated in pink, tree trunks festooned with pink ribbons, and pink-lit signage—all of which will remain throughout October.
In addition, ZTA is selling T-shirts and $20 tickets to the October 21 Miami Heat game against the Houston Rockets, with proceeds benefiting breast cancer research and education through the Zeta Tau Alpha Foundation.