Sorority Honors Cancer Victims With 7th Annual Balloon Release

High Point University's ZTA Balloon Release

High Point University's ZTA 2012 Balloon ReleaseHIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 10, 2012 – The pink balloons that floated into the sky over High Point University’s campus on Oct. 9 represented hundreds of loved ones – grandmothers, mothers, sisters, friends and male family members as well – who have battled breast cancer.

HPU’s Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority hosted its 7th annual Balloon Release where a sea of pink balloons with a name attached to each were released to honor and memorialize those who have battled the disease. The event was held in the Hoffman Amphitheater at the David R. High Point University's ZTA Balloon ReleaseHayworth University Park.

Don Scarborough, vice president for community relations at HPU, shared the story of his wife’s battle with breast cancer. He said she was an incredibly energetic person who overcame breast cancer, but succumbed to the disease after it returned in her body four years later.

 “Do what you can for those who have breast cancer,” Scarborough said. “Do what you can to raise money for research and more because someday this disease may affect you. A mother or someone in your family will suffer from this, and it will be your job to rally around them with support. It’s a battle we all need fight because we are all affected.”

Tiffany Fair, a representative from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, also shared her own survival story. Fair was diagnosed with breast cancer at 25. Now 27, she is cancer free and thriving after undergoing treatment.

“Now I view every day as a gift,” Fair said to students. “When life gives you 1,000 reasons to cry, I want you to promise me that you’ll give life one million reasons to smile. That’s what I learned to do.”

Though breast cancer is often regarded as a woman’s disease, Fair noted that it also affects men. In the Piedmont Triad, five men have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Four students – Kelly Jones, Marjory Kling, Aunya Butler and Ryan Ferguson – also shared tearful testimonies regarding family members who battled the disease and the valuable lessons they learned during that time.

The balloon release concluded ZTA’s annual TH!NK P!NK week, in which the sorority held several events on campus to raise awareness of breast cancer and funds for research. In total, the event raised more than $7,000 for the cause.

“I feel so blessed to be a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and to be able to be part of an organization that has so much passion and raises so much money for breast cancer education and awareness,” said Megan Body, a member of the sorority whose grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. “We are all united in the fight against breast cancer. I am so proud of my sisters and our continued efforts to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.”

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