AEP employees show support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month –
Story and photo by Patricia Beech –
October was National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and AEP Ohio line workers and administrative personnel are wearing pink hard hats to show their support for the women and men who are fighting the disease.
The hats are part of AEP Ohio’s second annual “Hearts on the Line” campaign to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer.
According to Jeff Frazier, Supervisor at the Seaman and Hillsboro service centers, each employee who typically wears a white hard hat received a pink hat to wear through the month of October.
“It’s just one way to stand out and make others aware,” said Frazier. “Wearing the hats allows us to keep the focus on what we can do and what role we can play to help raise awareness and find a cure for cancer.”
AEP Ohio employees are also raising funds for breast cancer research, as well as participating in awareness walks and events throughout Ohio during the month of October. The company is matching all fund raising dollars up to $5,000 through the AEP Ohio Foundation. The matching funds will be donated to the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The Ohio Hearts on the Line Campaign is about more than just wearing pink hard hats – it’s about fostering a community for those who have been effected by the disease.
“We love being a part of this program which is so important to our community,” said Frazier. “Cancer effects all our lives – it effects our coworkers, it effects our friends, it effects our family members, and we want every person who is touched by this disease to know that we support them.”
At the end of October, employees will retire their pink hard hats to keep them in good condition for next year. In 2016, AEP Ohio employees raised and donated more than $11,000 to cancer research.
Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. About one in eight women born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about one in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years.
“This disease is smart, it does not discriminate and is often silent and tireless. If we want to win this battle, we have to adopt similar attributes in our efforts and do everything we can to offer easy, universal access to early detection,” said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. “The difference is, we can’t be silent. The time is now and the responsibility to raise awareness belongs to all of us.”
To prevent breast cancer, it is recommended that women have a mammogram every year starting at age 40 for those who are at an average risk. Women should also have a clinical breast exam at least every three years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40.
To learn more about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and how you can help, visit cancer.org.