By Emily Williams
A pink chair will be travelling around the city this October, and if you take a picture of it, you’re in the game.
The newest campaign launched by the American Cancer of Society of Birmingham’s junior board, Where’s the Chair Wednesdays, will have the chair moved around the city each Wednesday in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Each location will be an opportunity for community members to take photos with the chair, post it on social media and do their part to help spread breast cancer awareness.
According to junior board members Lauren Walsh and Christine McClurkin, sharing information about not just breast cancer, but all cancers, is what drives their continued participation in ACS.
One of the ways they became involved in the organization was through their own experiences with the disease, awakening their awareness of its scope.
“Cancer affects so many people,” Walsh said. “And I love how ACS helps to not only fund research for a cure, but also helps provide comfort to those going through this awful disease.”
Walsh, a reporter at ABC 33/40, lost her maternal grandparent to lung cancer before she was born and has stood alongside her mother in her battle against breast cancer.
“Her strength and positivity helped her through treatments,” she said. “She was lucky to catch it so early and is now recovering really well.”
With her mother finishing off radiation treatments over the past year, Walsh found comfort in support from her co-worker Brenda Ladun, a survivor of breast cancer, who helped her navigate the ways she could best help her mom.
Now, McClurkin’s fears turn to her paternal grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and will be undergoing chemo treatments. Her father also is battling follicular lymphoma.
“Experiencing the fears associated with cancer firsthand makes me more passionate about wanting to raise money to find a cure,” she said.
In McClurkin’s family, she has watched two women battle and beat breast cancer – her mother-in-law, Mary Sue McClurkin, and her grandmother, Emily Duke.
Through these experiences and the awareness they sparked within her, McClurkin was driven to help spread the word.
“It’s crucial to spread awareness in our communities,” McClurkin said. “The younger population needs to know the importance of proper screening and the importance of supporting those that are fighting cancer.”
McClurkin added, “The more people that volunteer and donate, the more support we can offer our community.”
Each Wednesday morning in October, from 7 to 9 a.m., clues hinting at the location of the chair will be announced on Birmingham Mountain Radio (107.3). The first person to find the chair, snag a picture with it and post the photo on Instagram with the tag #WheresTheChairWednesdays will be a winner. In addition, the chair location will offer facts about breast cancer and screening guidelines.
“Organizations like ACS fund research that will be vital to finding a cure,” Walsh said. “I also love the fact that millions of these research dollars are going to research happening in our backyard, at UAB.
“I cannot wait for the day when all types of cancer are curable, and no family has to suffer because of it.”
For more information, visit fightcancerbhm.com and follow on Instagram @americancancersocietybhm.