BY TODD BOWMAN
CUMBERLAND, Maryland – Nationally and internationally, October is known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month with employers allowing employees to wear special clothing, hanging pink ribbons and sponsoring fundraising events to bring awareness to the deadly disease.
The paramedics and emergency medical technicians with Allegany County Department of Emergency Services’ EMS Division did the same by selling custom designed shirts that they wore during October as part of their regular duty uniform, according to Steve Corioni, a paramedic with the EMS Division.
“We sold shirts for the month of October for breast cancer awareness. $3 from every shirt sold went towards the donation,” Corioni said. “Employees who purchased the shirts were allowed to wear them as their uniform shirt for month of October.”
The Allegany County Department of Emergency Services’ EMS Division donated $606 dollars to the Western Maryland Health System Schwab Family Cancer Center earlier this month.
“The providers in the EMS Division are on the streets of Allegany County everyday and very community oriented,” EMS Division Chief Robert Pattison said. “As providers we must not only provide pre-hospital emergency care, but bring awareness to a disease that is plaguing so many.”
“Cancer is a disease that unfortunately seems to touch everyone in our community in some form, whether it be a relative, a friend, or a co-worker. We all know someone who is battling, or has battled this disease,” Corioni said. “We must continue to raise funds for research, treatment and hopefully someday, a cure.”
Corioni said that this is the second year they have sold shirts to raise funds for breast cancer awareness. He added that they were able to raise more funds this year compared to last year.
Approximately one in eight of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, according to breastcancer.org. Although the risk is considerably higher in females, 1 in 1000 men will get diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
“Cancer is very prevalent within the emergency services community. In addition to supporting research and treatment, we must take steps within our own profession to prevent our own risks of cancer,” Corioni said. “Hopefully through awareness campaigns like this one our employees and employers will remain vigilant of the hazards of the job and will remember to take steps to protect themselves. “
Corioni emphasized that cancer awareness shouldn’t be a seasonal affair.
“We must remain vigilant year round,” Corioni said.
For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, excluding lung cancer, the website reports
As of March 2017, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This number includes women currently undergoing treatment and women who have completed treatment, according to breastcancer.org.
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