This bulletin board is posted outside my classroom to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.
Breast cancer affects more people than we easily realize. I learned that this week. As I started to piece this bulletin board display together, a number of passersby made casual comments to the effect of "That's really cool, Mr. Keltner. My ______ (friend, aunt, grandma, father, brother's roommate, and many other examples) is a cancer survivor." If comments like that don't make you glow inside and out, I don't know what to tell you.

After a colleague shared that his mother is a cancer survivor, I'd heard enough. I couldn't just keep all these blessings to myself. I had to share this list of loved ones with others. So, as you can see above, I've begun to accumulate the names of cancer survivors on the four-foot tall pink ribbon adorning the bulletin board.
Nancy and the late Larry Holmes, 2006.
I'd like to share a bit about the woman whose name I made sure to include FIRST and foremost on that big ribbon. 

Her name is Nancy Holmes and I came to know her through a summer job I held with a Full Bright Sign & Lighting, a job that has given me numerous opportunities for real-life math examples in class. It didn't take long to learn that this woman was a fighter, not just advocating to get things done properly and efficiently in the workplace, but that she was a breast cancer survivor. Both breasts. Treated and diagnosed at separate times.

Also through this summer job, I came to know Larry. To say he was a gentleman is an understatement. He, too, was a cancer survivor and married Nancy in 2006 after having met during their treatment while each battling cancer. So, when I hear celebrities talk about a "power couple," I know they could not even hold a candle to Nancy and Larry.

Homecoming King Owen Phariss and his TWO Queens, Audrey Hughes (left) and Rachel Heeb (right).
What's more, Nancy's son Owen is her pride and joy. A success story for what someone can do with Down's syndrome (and his mother's strength and determination), Owen was named Homecoming King at his high school during his senior year, a noteworthy occasion not just for him but also for his QUEENS. That's right, the queen voting resulted in an exact tie, so two girls were crowned.

So, all the amount of time spent on this bulletin board pale in comparison to the energy Nancy has spent through her fights with cancer. Yes, fights.

And while I feel like this bulletin board definitely is something that is Pinterest-worthy, I hope that students, staff, and other passersby are able to soak in the awareness that it is intended for. I hope they are willing to honor a loved one and post their name to acknowledge the fight they have endured.

In the meantime, if you have someone whose name you would like me to post on this display among other cancer survivors, send me a comment, a tweet, or an email. Until next time, THINK PINK.


Thank for your informative posts. Keep sharing your knowledge with us


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