The power of pink has grown in the 22 years since Susan G. Komen began handing ribbons to breast cancer survivors running in the annual Race for the Cure in New York City.
Originally worn as a badge of courage by those who had faced chemotherapy and the surgeon's scalpel, the colour pink has also been co-opted to symbolize corporate awareness.
It was impossible to watch an NFL game on Sunday without seeing brawny athletes wearing pink cleats, socks or hand warmers.
In the grocery store, the department store and sometimes even the corner store, everything from pots to hand towels and backpacks have "gone pink" in support of breast cancer research.
For some, this "pinkification" has become almost a betrayal of their cause - especially when coupled with allegations that some international fundraising benefits corporations more than cancer research.
But the debate about charitable politics doesn't alter the fact that almost 23,000 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 5,100 will die of it, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.
To put that another way, one in nine Canadian women are expected to develop breast cancer, and one in 29 will die from it.
Behind those numbers are sisters, mothers, grandmothers, wives, friends, and daughters.
A recent breakthrough, a major one, could change those mortality numbers. Scientists have almost completed mapping the genetic mutations in breast cancer, paving the way to creating more effective individual treatment plans.
That has made this October a great month to support Breast Cancer Awareness. But you don't have to wear pink, this month or any other.
As always, there are many events in our community connected to fundraising. Check them out, support the cause, applaud the survivors.
@ Copyright 2013