Skip to main content

Think Pink

03/19/2013 03:39PM ● Published by Sandie Tillery

A Nationwide Movement Started in the North State

Story: Sandie Tillery & Kerri Regan

It started with 500 pink bags handed out on a street corner, the vision of a trio of passionate North State health care providers who had watched too many women die of breast cancer.

Today, the grassroots “Think Pink” effort has exploded into a powerhouse movement that has gained momentum far beyond its original reaches. On Oct. 16, hundreds of volunteers will distribute 40,000 bags of goodies that spread this lifesaving message: if you detect breast cancer early, you can beat it.

The endeavor began right here in the North State with three individuals who had vested interests in breast cancer: Dr. Michael Figueroa of Cancer Care Consultants, Carol Lake of the American Cancer Society and Melody Christenson, formerly of MD Imaging in Redding. They were inspired by the American Cancer Society’s pink ribbon campaign (the pink ribbon pin is one of the “goodies” in each Think Pink bag). Quite simply, the program encourages women to have mammograms, clinical breast exams and do selfexams with the goal of finding cancer early.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, volunteers joined forces in October 1997 to pass out 500 bags on the corner of Gold and Court streets – right in front of MD Imaging, which at that time was the only place to get a mammogram in Shasta County. MD Imaging’s doctors covered the campaign’s cost the first year; recently retired Dr. Ric Steffens was a local pioneer of promoting quick and accurate mammography as an early detection tool.

Think Pink is now one of Northern California’s largest health awareness campaigns. Assembly of the bags now requires a warehouse, with space donated by local businesses. Volunteers from 9 to 90 years old fill the bags. The morning of the giveaway, “ambassadors” from community businesses pick up the bags and carnations for delivery to their co workers. Bags are distributed in Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity and Modoc counties, according to Nor Cal Think Pink, and the idea has been adopted by organizations nationwide.

Fire engines, RABA buses and garbage trucks pull up to the curb, explains Think Pink bag giveaway coordinator Christenson, who has always been in front of MD Imaging at 4 am on the big day to give away Think Pink bags and pink carnations. She has learned not to be intimidated by burly guys on Harleys who stop to pick up a bag and to share stories of concern about the women in their lives – their mothers, wives, sisters, co-workers.

The goal is to increase the number of women who receive mammograms and clinical breast exams. Because most women over 40 cite cost as their obstacle for getting a mammogram, Think Pink worked with several North State groups to provide access to free mammograms. For instance, the Soroptimist’s Breast Cancer Detection Fund provides free mammograms to women or men who cannot afford the test or who don’t qualify for other free or low-cost screening programs. Mercy Regional Cancer Center in Redding offers free breast cancer screening for women older than 40 (call (530) 246-3729 for dates). California now requires insurance companies to cover mammograms.

And the campaign is working. More women are being screened for breast cancer, Christenson says, and more women are finding cancer early, while it’s still very curable. In the seven years before Think Pink, 11 percent of breast cancer was detected at Stage 0 (often a pre-cancerous condition), which has nearly a 100 percent five-year survival rate. Between 2000 and 2007, however, more than 16 percent of breast cancer was detected at this early stage. On the other end of the spectrum, the percentage of breast cancer left undetected until it reaches the most life-threatening stage has dropped by 1 percent.

“Until we defeat breast cancer,” Christenson says emphatically, “this [campaign] is not going away.”

In Print, Life+Leisure interest
  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/25/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/26/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/26/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day I

    01/26/2018
    04:00PM — 08:30PM

    Redding Cultural Cruise is just around the corner, coming Friday, January 26! Participate in t...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    01/26/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Redding International Folk Dancers

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Folk dance is for everyone and for all ages! Our motto is: If you can walk you can dance. We meet...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/27/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day II

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Join us SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 for Day II of Redding Cultural Cruise! Visit a number of Redding ven...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    01/27/2018
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/28/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Conductor and saxophonist Scott Seaton welcomes Terrie Baune (violin) and John Chernoff (piano) f...


  • North State Symphony

    01/28/2018
    02:00PM

    In this more intimate concert, Maestro Scott Seaton on his saxophone joins Concertmaster Terrie B...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/29/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/30/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/24/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    01/24/2018
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/25/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/26/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/26/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day I

    01/26/2018
    04:00PM — 08:30PM

    Redding Cultural Cruise is just around the corner, coming Friday, January 26! Participate in t...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    01/26/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Redding International Folk Dancers

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Folk dance is for everyone and for all ages! Our motto is: If you can walk you can dance. We meet...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/27/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day II

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Join us SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 for Day II of Redding Cultural Cruise! Visit a number of Redding ven...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    01/27/2018
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/28/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Conductor and saxophonist Scott Seaton welcomes Terrie Baune (violin) and John Chernoff (piano) f...


  • North State Symphony

    01/28/2018
    02:00PM

    In this more intimate concert, Maestro Scott Seaton on his saxophone joins Concertmaster Terrie B...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/29/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/30/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/31/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    01/31/2018
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • The Peking Acrobats

    01/31/2018
    07:30PM

    For the last 30 years The Peking Acrobats have inspired fans young and old as they defy gravity w...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • ART SALE at Pawz for a Cause Boutique

    02/01/2018
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    Pawz for a Cause Boutique/ ResQ Animal Coalition will be having a 15% Off All Framed Art SALE for...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    02/01/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Vinyl Night! Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch ...


  • Sparrow's Landing Open to Public

    02/02/2018
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Furniture, plants, yard art and more! Most items made from repurposed, reclaimed materials. The ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    02/02/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • ART SALE at Pawz for a Cause Boutique

    02/02/2018
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    Pawz for a Cause Boutique/ ResQ Animal Coalition will be having a 15% Off All Framed Art SALE for...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    02/02/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Redding International Folk Dancers

    02/02/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Folk dance is for everyone and for all ages! Our motto is: If you can walk you can dance. We meet...


  • Sparrow's Landing Open to Public

    02/03/2018
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Furniture, plants, yard art and more! Most items made from repurposed, reclaimed materials. The ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    02/03/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Friends of Shasta County Libraries

    02/03/2018
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Saturday, February 3rd, The Friends of Shasta County Libraries will sell gently used books in the...


  • ART SALE at Pawz for a Cause Boutique

    02/03/2018
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    Pawz for a Cause Boutique/ ResQ Animal Coalition will be having a 15% Off All Framed Art SALE for...


  • 31st Annual One SAFE Place Crab Feed

    02/03/2018
    04:00PM — 09:00PM

    On Saturday, February 3, 2018, One SAFE Place’s 31st Annual Crab Feed will transform the Shasta D...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    02/03/2018
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Annual Scholarship Auction

    02/03/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    The Highland Art Center’s Annual Scholarship Silent Auction is a fan favorite event every year! ...


  • Bold New Sound of Hawaiian Music with WAIPUNA

    02/03/2018
    08:00PM — 10:30PM

    In 2005, the Oaksong Music Society established itself as the premier source of live Hawaiian musi...


Enter to win!

 

Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living

 

Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors