The fight against breast cancer found advocates and support from women prisoners and staff at the California Institution for Women (CIW).
The September 30, event was sponsored by the prison’s “Lockdown for a Cure team” that consisted of the women prisoners and staff.
The women prisoners showed their support by participating in an institutional food sale and walking on the Recreation Field yard.
“CIW reached out to The American Cancer Society and spoke with Susan Heppner,” said Rosie Thomas, the prison Public Information Officer. “Heppner was excited to hear the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation was supportive and assisted CIW with our opening food fundraiser in August 2018.”
Heppner spoke with staff and distributed cancer awareness information, added Thomas. The Avon 39 walk consists of walking 39 miles in support of family members and friends that suffer or have died from the disease.
The prison event was more than a walk. The women prisoners had the chance to enjoy the sounds of DJ Richterscale, who volunteered his services. The women also played a variety of games, said Thomas.
In addition to participating in the walk, ACS donated pink ribbons and handouts to those at the prison to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness month that happens in October.
The pink ribbons were also placed in the prison visiting room and the handouts were distributed throughout the institution for staff, inmates and their visitors to view, said Thomas.
The day before the prison walk, CIW staff on the “Lockdown for a Cure team” participated in the “Making Strides against Breast Cancer” walk in the city of Rancho Cucamonga.
“Lieutenant F. Esqueda (CIM) also showed real men wear pink during the walk as he showed support for his wife, a cancer survivor,” said Thomas.
The prison cancer event has been in the works since early 2016, when the “Lockdown for a Cure team” was formed.
At the prison walk, during the check presentation, Jimmie Herrick of The American Cancer Society (ACS) thanked CIW for their support and stated with the donation the ACS had reached their $100,000 goal.
Also in attendance of the prison walk were ACS staff Janessa Larios and Tillie Aker.