Wellesley High School senior Sarah Howland says the fact that the cause of more than 70% of breast cancer cases is unexplained was among the reasons she decided to start a club called Protect Our Breasts.
“That was really shocking and concerning to hear, especially because I had never heard anything like that before,” says Howland, who came across the numbers while taking part in a Harvard Medical School summer program. “Education surrounding breast cancer, and the types of things people can do to avoid it, are quite nonexistent unless you go searching for it. I can’t recall much education about breast cancer in sex-ed class or any science classes, so I wanted to start this club to spread more awareness and help educate as many as I can.”
The WHS Protect Our Breasts club, which now has 15 members, is a chapter of the original club started at Umass Amherst.
The club’s purpose is to raise awareness of the non-genetic causes of breast cancer, and the students recently started a fundraiser by selling stickers, which you can order via an online form or by scanning QR code if you come across any of the club’s flyers.
The club has also reached out to local businesses to see if they’d be interested in carrying the stickers in their stores. If interested in participating, please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All net proceeds will be donated to The Ellie Fund, a Needham-based non-profit that provides assistance to breast cancer patients residing in or receiving treatment in Massachusetts.
Running the club in the hybrid learning environment has been “surprisingly easier than I thought it would be,” Howland says. Meeting via Zoom instead of booking a physical room has simplified things, not to mention that students don’t need to worry about travel arrangements. The club generally meets once a month, and hopes to have some sort of socially distanced year-end celebration.