National Dress in Blue Day
Anita Mitchell, who was a stage IV colon cancer patient and had lost her father to the disease, came up with the idea for “National Dress in Blue Day”. Ms. Mitchell was deeply saddened that these tragedies couldn’t have been avoided and felt a need for greater awareness about cancer.
In 2006, she coordinated a day of recognition with her school. Students who were required to wear uniforms to school that March were allowed to wear blue outfits if they donated $1 to colon cancer awareness.
Some people have expressed hopes that March will be a month of colon cancer awareness, not just for the first Friday. This is similar to National Breat Cancer Awareness Month which takes place every October.
Anita brought then the concept of ‘National Dress in Blue Day‚Äô to the Colon Cancer Alliance. The Colon Cancer Alliance launched ‘National Dress in Blue Day” in 2009 in a huge nationwide campaign. It was introduced to raise awareness of colon cancer as well as to recognise the bravery of those suffering from the disease, and the now nationally-recognized blue star was chosen to symbolize both the memory of loved ones lost to colon cancer and the perspective of a better future without the disease.
The Colon Cancer Alliance hopes that its actions will encourage people to be more concerned about the potentially fatal danger of colon cancer. This could include getting screened frequently in order to detect warning signs before it becomes more serious.
Screening can detect colorectal cancer cases up to two years before symptoms are diagnosed. This means that screening can reduce the number of colon cancer deaths by as much as 60%. In fact, most colorectal cancers can be prevented by lifestyle changes and increased surveillance. This makes prevention an important aspect.
American fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo partnered with Colon Cancer Alliance in 2011, to promote National Dress in Blue Day. He had lost his battle with cancer.
Individuals, businesses, and local groups can celebrate National Dress in Blue Day by dressing in blue and encouraging their family, friends, and colleagues to do so. This can be used in many ways to raise funds. The proceeds from the ‘National Dress in Blue Day‚Äô are used to support patients and fund research programs.
For a small fee, businesses may allow employees to wear jeans with a blue shirt and a t-shirt, as an example. Wearing a shirt with the words “I’m Blue for My Son” or “I’m Blue for Sarah” can help raise awareness and show support to friends and family who have been affected by colon cancer.
In exchange for wearing blue clothing, shoes, and hair dye for a day, a person can receive sponsorship from friends and family. The Colon Cancer Alliance receives the money and uses it to support colon cancer survivors as well as to fund research to find a cure.