HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A Holyoke-based organization that serves young women, organized a fundraiser to benefit Rays of Hope in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This drive-through fundraiser will go a long way towards breast cancer research.
Young girls from Girls Inc. de la VallÃ©e-Eureka! lined Dwight Street in Holyoke to raise money for breast cancer.
Bianca Speaks-Rua and Priscilla Bonser, STEM Students, Girls Inc. of the Eureka Valley! Told 22News: “Just knowing that we can help people just by holding signs, so that we can know that we are helping those who need it because it is very difficult for them to get through this.”
It’s a disease that strikes Bianca and Priscilla, as well as the other girls in the group.
“When you talk to the girls, it’s amazing how many of them know someone, a mother, a sister, an aunt, someone who has had breast cancer.” Anna Symington, a breast cancer survivor, said.
Anna works with the Pioneer Valley Life Sciences Institute which is made up of a team of breast cancer researchers trying to find a cure.
âAccess to human specimens is still limited. There are many obstacles to access it and the Rays of Hope have helped us make ourselves accessible to as many people as possible, âsaid Dr Joseph Jerry, Scientific Director of PVLSI.
According to Dr Jerry, their findings on breast cancer could pave the way for understanding and solving other types of cancer.
âBreast cancer has real advantages, detecting it early. We can therefore better monitor the disease. What we learn about breast cancer will benefit me one day, prostate cancer, colon cancer. They are all different, how studying them is a challenge, âhe said.
Thanks to fundraisers like this, millions of dollars have been donated over the years and it has made significant progress. In the United States, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. Detecting it early is still the most effective way to defeat it.