During a normal football Saturday, University of Wisconsin students dress in red and flood Camp Randall in support of the Badgers. But Wednesday, students dressed in pink to support a different cause. Hundreds of UW students showed their support for National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The event, organized by the School of Business’ Undergraduate Business Leadership Council, is part of a weeklong campaign to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer research. Grainger Hall was decorated with pink balloons and posters about breast cancer. “Breast cancer research and awareness is something that a lot of people in the business school were very passionate about, so we had the idea to put together a fundraiser,” UBLC President Jon Fasoli said. Students at Grainger have been selling bracelets and shirts at the production cost price of $1 and $8 respectively, though buyers are encouraged to donate more money for the cause, according to Fasoli. UBLC has sold more than 1,200 bracelets and 50 shirts. “We realize that college students aren’t the most wealthy individuals in the world, but what we do have plenty of is passion and a real drive to make a change,” Fasoli said. “Throughout this week we’ve shown that this is something that college students feel passionate about, and we’ve made a statement perhaps stronger than, financially, we ever could.” All funds raised will be donated to the Madison chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a national organization dedicated to advancing breast cancer research and promoting awareness on the issue. “My family has been affected by breast cancer, so I try to show support not only for breast cancer research, but show support for the students who are organizing the event,” Business Career Center Director Steve Schroeder said. Schroeder, who was wearing a pink tie, said he stopped by the UBLC’s table and bought a bracelet, which read “faith.” Belle Heberling, a graduate studies coordinator at the School of Business, said she found out she had breast cancer in the spring of 2006. After putting off having a mammogram for nearly half a year, she finally went in to be tested in February 2006. “I got a call very quickly saying, ‘You need to come back, we need to check something,'” Heberling said. “I thought it was all a big joke, a machine that failed or whatever — it wasn’t.” Heberling’s cancer was in the early stages and doctors were able to remove it, she said, and followed up with radiation treatment. Now she is on a five-year drug plan. Heberling commended the student-organized campaign. “I thought it was a very nice gesture because I’m sure so many of these students were touched by [cancer], but we don’t think about it, because it isn’t them personally,” she said. The campaign will continue through Friday in the atrium in Grainger Hall.
JAKE NAUGHTON/Herald photo