On Thursday and Friday, October 24th & 25th, Middletown North and South Students attended the PINK PACT Ô presentation at school assemblies. Special guests at the programs included Senator Joe Kyrillos, and Middletown School Superintendant, Dr. Bill George. The PINK PACT program, was presented by Breast Intentions, a charity formed by Erika Rech and Mike Ruane, two Middletown residents. First Lady Mary Pat Christie, who named Rech and Ruane New Jersey Heroes in 2012, funded the educational program with a grant.
Junior Breast Intentions Board members, Brian Ruane and Emily Antonino spearheaded the event at North and South respectively. Faculty advisors Mrs. Jen Smith of High School North, and Mrs. Lisa Smith of HS South, helped coordinate the program. The goal of the PINK PACT ™ program is to educate young women about breast health and the need for regular breast self-examinations. The tag line for the program is “you feelin me?” On the program were speakers who presented facts about what to look for and the self-examination process. A survivor spoke about her journey through many surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapy. Students saw videos of survivors, received t-shirts, bracelets, self-exam shower cards and other giveaways. A poster contest that challenged students to convey the message at each school rewarded the winners with gift cards to local eateries.
The key message is to be aware of breast health and perform a monthly breast self exam. When breast cancer is found in its early, localized state, the survival rate is 98%.
The program was well received and will be rolled out in more high schools across the state in the coming year.