Oklahoma State University’s Department of Wellness set up a booth Tuesday allowing students to put pink rubber ducks in the fountain in front of Edmond Low Library.
“We are trying to encourage students to go get those mammograms just to make sure they don’t have anything wrong,” Carson Leon, a health education graduate assistant, said. “We want to encourage all students, including men, because men are susceptible to breast cancer as well. The students sign the ducks if they know anyone who has had breast cancer, is fighting it or is no longer with us.”
The ducks floating in the water for the "Don't Duck Around with Breast Cancer" event caught students' attention when they passed the library.
“I was walking by; I didn’t know what was going on, but I am a major support(er) of any kind of cancer research,” Ashley Parish, a pre-veterinary junior, said. “My family and I have been affected, so anytime I can do anything, I definitely want to promote education.”
Each duck was signed with the name of someone suffering from any type of cancer.
Parish signed a duck in honor of Raymon Kyle, a young boy who lost his fight with neuroblastoma.
Joshua McFarand, a biochemistry and molecular biology sophomore, signed a duck in honor of his grandmother Joan Greenwood.
“She had breast cancer about six months ago,” McFarand said. “She went through all the chemo, and now she’s completely breast cancer free.”
One in 1,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and one in eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis, according to the Department of Wellness.
“It is important to catch it (breast cancer) early, and if you can catch it early, that’s great,” Leon said. “Prevention is something that we highly encourage in the health education department.”
More than 40,000 people will die of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. But when detected before stage two, the 5-year survival rate is close to 100 percent.
“Its very important to get the education out there on any kind of cancer,” Parish said. “Whether it be breast cancer or childhood cancer, just know that there are people out there who are struggling and who aren’t with us anymore because of it.”