DEARBORN - Employees gathered in Dearborn on Thursday, May 9, to celebrate life, hope and the fight against breast cancer at the annual Warriors in Pink rally and walk around Ford World Headquarters.
At the lunchtime event employees could buy the latest Warriors in Pink apparel, purchase tickets for the “Baskets for the Cure” drawing, get temporary tattoos, have their photos taken, and leave “Messages of Courage” for those being treated at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.
WDIV Channel 4 reporter Ashlee Baracy hosted this years’ event, and shared how breast cancer touched her life.
“Ten years ago this past weekend, I was a senior in high school, and I drove home from a normal day at school to find my dad waiting at the door for me with tears in his eyes. The first words that came out of his mouth were, ‘Mom has cancer,’” she said.
Last weekend, her mother, Janet, celebrated her 10th year of survival. “I race because my mother is a survivor,” she told attendees. And she thanked Ford employees for their many contributions that have helped support research and the development of new treatments.
Janet Baracy also joined her daughter on the stage to share two important messages: 1) Early Detection is key; she believes not waiting to have a lump checked saved her life; and 2) There is life after cancer treatment.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Maureen Meldrum shared some of the latest statistics with attendees: More than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. this year. An estimated 40,000 will die from the disease. Globally, breast cancer steals a life every 74 seconds.
“At the same time, we are seeing advances that are so exciting I couldn’t have dreamed of them 22 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Meldrum.
According to Nick Smither, Ford group vice president and chief information officer, Ford employees have contributed significantly to those advances.
“It’s a real privilege for me to represent Ford as a corporate sponsor. This is our 19th year. Through that period we have raised collectively over $120 million,” he announced.
“Our Ford friends are truly our best friends,” said Meldrum. “From my point of view there is no organization that has done more for this cause than what Ford has done.”
Smither also recognized two of Ford’s “Models of Courage” who were in attendance, Cheryl Perkins and Irma Slimko, cancer survivors who share their stories with others.
“Thanks to both Cheryl and Irma for their commitment to inspire others. Well done,” he said.
Smither announced that approximately 1,500 people have registered to walk with the Ford team. He encouraged attendees to encourage their co-workers, families and friends to register for the walk.
“Let’s go further. Our stretch goal this year 2,000 team members,” he said to an enthusiastic crowd.
You can still register. You’ll find instructions here.
Also, check out the external media coverage of the rally at WHQ:
VIDEO -- Click on Detroit Day Cam: Pink warriors at Ford: