SANTA ANA, Calif. – The Santa Ana Police Department and Santa Ana Police Officers’ Association are joining forces to combat a stealthy and pervasive predator in the Orange County community: breast cancer. This October, Santa Ana PD is demonstrating their support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it is often through fundraising efforts to increase awareness and support cancer research.
Over 4000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. Almost 38% of breast cancer patients experience financial difficulty as a result of medical expenses and reduced work hours associated with the condition. Patients often forego life-saving treatment options to maintain financial stability in their homes, particularly those patients who are low-income and displaced.
In 1997, “Mary” was undergoing chemotherapy for Stage IV breast cancer. She contacted her social worker when she was unable to complete a necessary surgical component of her treatment due to her homelessness. The social worker promptly collected donations on her behalf, gathering enough funds for Mary to stay in a hotel during her recovery. This act of kindness resulted in the founding of Breast Cancer Solutions, a non-profit organization the social worker and four community advocates established in 1998 to address the financial toll that breast cancer takes on families.
To date, this program has assisted over 3,700 clients who would have otherwise delayed, ceased, or been denied treatment. The source of these vital funds stems from fundraising events in a variety of forms. One of the fundraisers is the “Pink Patch Program.” This project is a collaboration between multiple police and fire agencies that have agreed to turn their patches into a “pink” version to raise awareness on breast cancer. Each agency sells the patches and donates the proceeds to a breast cancer organization of their choice.
The Pink Patch Project began in 2015, when Seal Beach PD wanted to openly support an employee was diagnosed with breast cancer. They initially wore the patches on their official police uniform during the breast cancer awareness month in October of that year. Last year, almost 200 police and fire agencies participated and raised over $300K.
Grizelda Padilla is the coordinator behind the Santa Ana PD Pink Patch initiative. “Breast Cancer Solutions is the organization I chose. Santa Ana Police Department serves a community that struggles financially. We have a lot of low – income families with a 20% poverty rate. Our community would benefit from this organization should they need the assistance. It also helps those who fall on hard times due to their diagnosis, not necessarily low income.”
These commemorative SAPD pink patches can be purchased for the cost of $10; pre-orders for the first 200 patches will be taken. Place the orders at https://breastcancersolutions.org/bcs/2017sapd/. Anticipated delivery of the first set of pre-orders will be October 1. Fin additional information on the project at their website, www.pinkpatchproject.com