Within a five-year period, three of Randy Vaughan's close family members were diagnosed with cancer. It was a wake-up call that motivated him to join the ranks of real men who wear pink.
Vaughan, manager of distribution dispatch, is one of 24 participants in the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign in the Jackson metro area. As a Pink Tie Guy, he'll help raise funds and educate the public about breast cancer in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, observed in October.
Several years ago Vaughan's paternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thanks to early detection, she is a 20-year cancer survivor. But it wasn't until later in his life, when three more close family members received cancer diagnoses, that he began to understand the terrible impact of the disease.
Within a five-year period, his maternal grandmother was diagnosed with liver cancer and died, his father was diagnosed with colon cancer and his mother was diagnosed with lymphoma.
"It felt like someone was slapping me in the face and saying, 'Wake up! This is real, and you need to do something for the sake of your family and your children,'" he said. "Cancer can affect anyone, and it affects everyone in some form or fashion. The more people who are aware of it and how to battle it, the better prepared they are."
Vaughan said his parents are doing well, but the struggles his loved ones have endured have strengthened his resolve to help other families by supporting the American Cancer Society.
"By donating to this program, you will touch the lives of so many women and men," he said. "Your generosity will provide education, cures, time, closure and a brighter future."
You can support Vaughan's effort by making a donation on his Real Men Wear Pink page. Every dollar he raises will support the American Cancer Society and its work to help save lives and promote awareness.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 2,300 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Mississippi this year, and 420 will not survive. Death rates from breast cancer have been dropping since about 1989, with larger decreases in women younger than 50. The trend is believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.