October is a busy month for awareness. It is Domestic Violence Awareness month, Breast Cancer Awareness month, Dental Awareness month and also Dyslexia Awareness month. For the month of October we’ll be hearing from some GFWC Florida members each week so you can put a face with the awareness. 

Breast Cancer Awareness

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), also referred to in America as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM), is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.
Breast cancer awareness month is a yearly campaign that intend educate people about the importance of early screening, test and more. This campaign starts on October 1 and ends on October 31 every year.
NBCAM was founded in 1985 in October as a partnership between the American Cancer Society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (now part of AstraZeneca, producer of several anti-breast cancer drugs). The aim of the NBCAM from the start has been to promote mammography as the most effective weapon in the fight against breast cancer.
In 1993 Evelyn Lauder, Senior Corporate Vice President of the Estée Lauder Companies, founded The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and established the pink ribbon as its symbol, though this was not the first time the ribbon was used to symbolize breast cancer:[2] a 68-year-old California woman named Charlotte Haley, whose sister, daughter, and granddaughter had breast cancer, had distributed peach-color ribbons to call attention to what she perceived as inadequate funding for research.[3] In the fall of 1991, the Susan G. Komen Foundation had handed out pink ribbons to participants in its New York City race for breast cancer survivors.
A variety of events around the world are organized in October, including walks and runs, and the pink illumination of landmark buildings. In the United States, the National Football League promotes breast cancer awareness by incorporating pink on and off the field, and comic strip artists use pink on one day in October.

The National Race for the Cure

In October 1983 the Race for the Cure was held for the first time in Dallas, Texas, where 800 people participated. According to the organizers, by 2002 the number of participants reached 1.3 million and the event was held in over 100 US cities. The event is also being organized in several other parts of the world.

Breast Cancer Today

There are various two-day-long walks to raise money for breast cancer research institutes. Avon sponsors a 39-mile (60-km) walk.[7] A walk in Atlanta offers varying lengths of up to 30 miles.[8] Canada’s large “Weekend to End Breast Cancer” features a 60-km walk.[9] St. Louis, MO offers a one-day-long breast cancer walk. This walk consists of three miles.

Susan G. Komen 3 D

This 60-mile fundraising walk, which is spread across 3 days, raises money for breast cancer research. This walk, which benefits Susan G. Komen, occurs in seven cities in the United States.
Male breast cancer, which is rare, is generally overlooked. In 2009 the male breast cancer advocacy groups Out of the Shadow of Pink, A Man’s Pink, and the Brandon Greening Foundation for Breast Cancer in Men joined together to globally establish the third week of October as “Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week”.

Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention

October is national Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention month.  Awareness and education is where prevention begins.  Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes — it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation. It’s stealing a paycheck, keeping tabs online, non-stop texting, constant use of the silent treatment, or calling someone stupid so often they believe it.

Nearly three out of four Americans personally know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Now is the time to take a stand. Support survivors and speak out against domestic violence all month long.  The National Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims and survivors of domestic violence. Call 800-799-7233 or chat with an advocate on our website at www.thehotline.org.

Kathleen Hudson, GFWC Tampa Woman’s Club

Dyslexia Awareness Month

Dyslexia is so much more than backwards letters and switching “d’s” and “b’s” or “p’s” and “q’s”. Dyslexics have trouble reading but it is because they rarely have that internal dialogue that occurs when you and I read. In our minds (quite literally) when we read, we hear the voice of the characters and our imagination is setting the scene as we read. For those with dyslexia, it is quite the opposite. Dyslexics describe the “work” of reading. For them, reading is akin to physical labor because their minds are seeing a word and decoding it which causes their brains to have to “work” at the decoding. On Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a stark, physical difference is seen on the imaging of the brain with those with dyslexia. Dyslexics struggle in school (along with their parents) because the basis of school anymore is reading to grade level. Unfortunately, few teachers anymore are trained to identify dyslexics and in some instances, teachers and guidance counselors are discouraged from even saying the word. It is estimated that 1 in 4 kids have some form of dyslexia, a staggering number considering what is not being done to identify these children in school.

But that’s the downside of dyslexia. The upside of dyslexia is that dyslexic are extraordinarily gifted in other areas. Although their unique brain architecture and “unusual wiring” make reading, writing, and spelling difficult, most people with dyslexia have gifts in areas controlled by the right hemisphere of the brain. The right side controls: artistic skill, athletic ability, musical ability, mechanical ability, people skills, 3-D visual-spatial skills, vivid imagination, intuition, creative, global thinking, curiosity.

In short, its important to get kids not just extra help, but the correct help. There are specialized tutors that will work with your child’s strengths to help them read better and  learn how to use their special mind.


Jennifer Hawkins, GFWC Junior Woman’s Club of Fernandina Beach