The student-generated news site of Mount Saint Joseph Academy

The Campanile

The student-generated news site of Mount Saint Joseph Academy

The Campanile

The student-generated news site of Mount Saint Joseph Academy

The Campanile

Mountie gift guide
Mountie gift guide
Maura Fecak, Staff Writer • December 4, 2023

The holiday season is upon us. If you or a loved one is in need of gift-giving help, look no further. A Mount student is guaranteed to love at...

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys is a young adult historical fiction novel set in WWII.
Bookmarked!: November HISTORICAL FICTION 2023
December 4, 2023

This month’s theme was Historical Fiction, and we read Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys! A synopsis of the book and our reviews are below. ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— While...

The most wonderful time of the year?
The most wonderful time of the year?
Lee Quinn, Editorial Cartoonist • November 30, 2023

A very Mount Thanksgiving
A very Mount Thanksgiving
November 22, 2023
Sarah Mark ‘24, Angelina Baker ‘24, Ava Vavra ‘24, pause to smile for their Junior Ring Mass.
It's just so Ange!
November 14, 2023

Let’s Rethink All The Pink

When Ramsey Tabor was 8 her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, today she asks us to pause and reflect on how we go about Pink Week at the Mount.
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No one starts an awareness week with bad intent. No one means to harm and hurt the people they mean to represent, but sometimes even with the best of intentions, harm can still be caused. Across the country, October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. At Mount, we have what we call Pink Week. Everyday you wear a different accessory leading up to friday which is a full pink dress down day. Specifically, the day of the Pinkalicious Contest. The idea of an awareness week is a great idea. While some kinds of breast cancer cannot be detected early, some can and bringing awareness to the issue and spreading information could prevent so much. The problem, however, becomes when it goes beyond awareness, and accidentally becomes trivialized.

When I was 8 years old my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. There’s a lot of things you do not tell an 8 year old. You do not tell them the cancer you have is one of the lowest survival rates, you don’t tell them how scared you are, but kids know this stuff, even if they can’t communicate that. I don’t remember my mom telling me she had cancer, but I remember knowing something was up. I remember asking my mom what was wrong repeatedly, and becoming frustrated and upset because she wouldn’t tell me. One of the few memories I have of that time was going wig shopping with my parents because the chemo had truly started to take effect on my mom’s hair. I also remember the day we finally shaved it all off. It had been falling out for a while at that point, and it was finally decided it was time to just take it all off. I remember sitting in my parents cramped bathroom feeling helpless watching my mom cry as her remaining hair was shaved off by my dad. I remember running out and grabbing her a fresh, clean beanie for when it was done because I did not know what else to do. I remember seeing my mom when she came out of surgery. I remember that her first words to me were “Did you get your homework done?” That little bit of herself showing through was the only true reassurance I ever had during that time that she was ok.

Luckily, she was told that the chemo had fully ridden her of her tumor, but that did not mean everything was over. When it comes to cancer, there is no true all clear. As the years pass, it is less and less likely to return, but the chances will never be zero. This means that for the rest of our lives my family and I will always be walking on eggshells everytime my mom has a checkup appointment that she still gets the all clear. 

I think that at the heart of it, Pink Week is in no way bad. I appreciate the thought behind it and the awareness that it brings, but in my opinion the means do not justify the ends. For people like my mom, my dad, myself, the constant reminder of this trauma in our lives is painful. I was 8 when I experienced this and everytime I hear someone mention it over the announcements I feel trapped. Awareness has become so pushed that for people like me there is no way to escape from it. During Pink Week, reminders are blasted through the loudspeakers across the building, I feel trapped in the middle of the row in an assembly where I cannot walk out when I need to, and everywhere I look that week, I see pink. I have never been so affected by just seeing a color.

I understand that a lot of this, while painful for me, brings a level of awareness that could save lives, however some things cross a line. The Pinkalicious contest is a contest where students are encouraged to dress in as much pink as possible, to go all out. This leads to people showing up in pink tutus, pink face paint, and pink wigs. I think the wigs bother me the most. I remember so clearly going wig shopping with my mother to find something as close as possible to her hair so that she could pass off and hide what was happening to her body. She tried to find something so she didn’t stand out, and on Friday people make themselves as overdone as possible through the same means my mom tried to hide.

I am not saying we should never talk about breast cancer again. The awareness can be good, but how can the means justify the end? In my opinion, I think we should shift it from a dress down/fun week to a more serious toned week. I suggest we do more presentations about early signs of breast cancer and general health information. I believe that if we turn it to a more informative than celebratory based week, the means would absolutely justify the end. Not all people affected by breast cancer will be bothered by this, but me and many people close to me are. The topic of breast cancer will always be a touchy subject for me and many others, but if hearing about it saves lives, then it is absolutely worth it. 

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About the Contributor
Ramsey Tabor, Junior Lead Editor
Ramsey Tabor is a Junior at MSJA. She hopes to introduce new ideas and opinions to her readers. In her free time she enjoys writing, rowing, and producing her own short films.
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    Violet BinczewskiNov 21, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Wow. This article was so thoughtfully written, and major hats off to Ramsey for sharing such a gut wrenching story, not many writers have the ability to use something that was so painful and turn it into something that not only informs others, but will hopefully provoke change. This is an article that is very much needed, incredible job Ramsey.

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