Running for a Cure to Breast Cancer

Looking out at homecoming, an outsider would think that Dana Hall’s school colors were pink, blue and white. The Dana Hall community, teachers, students, and even parents, covered in pink ribbons and face paint, came out to support raising money and awareness for breast cancer research during the big day of athletic competitions with Newton Country Day School, Dana Hall’s rivals.

For the whole month of October, students passed by poster after poster in the School hallways with statistics such as “A woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes,” and “Every three minutes, a woman from the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer.” Homecoming became the pinnacle of the Breast Cancer Awareness efforts. Every sports team incorporated pink into their uniforms that day. A captain of volleyball, Alondra Lynch, stated “I think that it is important that the teams show their support for Breast Cancer research. Obviously, going to an all girls school, and breast cancer being a women’s issue, it is very important to our community.”

According to, about one in eight women will develop breast cancer. This means that approximately 60 of Dana Hall’s current students may have some hard news to handle at some period in their lives. “It’s nearly impossible to beat the odds, this disease just affects so many people,” said Ansley Joannes, Co-Head of Community Service Advisory Board, looking down and rubbing her hands together anxiously. “If all we can do to help is this,” she said gesturing to the events at homecoming, “I’m glad to do it, but I just wish that we could to more.”

The Dana Dash, the focal event for homecoming’s breast cancer awareness, is a one-mile race around Dana Hall’s campus. Decked out in pink t-shirts, girls, teachers, and parents walked or ran around the Dana campus, cheering all the way and raising awareness about breast cancer throughout the Dana Hall and neighboring Wellesley community. “As a Co-Head of crew, I love raising people’s spirits, but I thought it was especially important [to] raise awareness about breast cancer [today],” said Jen Lorthe, a huge advocate for the Dana Dash. The Dana Dash drew more than 30 participants, a significant number more than in years past, and the School raised about $1200 for breast cancer, from registration fees, donations, and a bake sale earlier in the week.

Holly Bonder, executive assistant to the head of school, and a breast cancer survivor was pleased to see men, as well as women, taking part in the Dana Dash. She talked about how the disease is not just a woman’s issue. “Absolutely not!” she exclaimed. “Men can get breast cancer too! It’s so important that everyone is educated about this disease.”

Julianna Miller, a senior, had a very different experience when her aunt was diagnosed with stage-four breast cancer 12 years ago. Speaking about her emotional struggle was challenging, “It was a difficult time for my family, and I’m just so glad that’s it’s all over and done with.”

Miller spoke positively about Dana’s involvement, saying “I think Dana is right on track by bringing up this super important women’s health issue.” She took a deep breath, looking up at the ceiling, as if recalling the dark moments of her past; her aunt has now been cancer-free for eight years, a major relief on her family. Looking around her a smile came upon her face, , “Dana Hall girls care,” she said. “They want to help.”

by Catherine Regan

Comments are closed.