Looking down on the football field, waves of pink blinded the eyes of West students and their parents. In the center, a bright, pink patrol car sat nestled beside the Falcon logo, scattered with names of breast cancer fighters and survivors. 

On Wednesday, Oct. 13 West Henderson High School students and staff united by wearing pink for breast cancer awareness. The “Pink Out” is the third day of spirit week for West Henderson and has garnered the most school-wide support to date. 

In addition to the pink clothing seen throughout the school, West’s School Resource Officer Mitch Jacobsen showed his support by driving a pink patrol car to school and parking it on the football field for Student Government Association (SGA).

“The purpose of the pink patrol car is to recognize the survivors of breast cancer and for the awareness of breast cancer, and also to pay tribute in the memory of someone who lost their life due to breast cancer,” Jacobsen said.

The pink patrol car was unveiled on Oct. 1 by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department. The pink wrapping and detailing were funded by Advent Health in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as well as two members of the sheriff’s office who have dealt with breast cancer.

“Cancer reaches everybody and when a family member wants to sign for another family member, it touches my heart because it just shows that nobody is going to fight this alone. We are all going to go to battle. We’re ready to go, so it’s very emotional,” Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen drove the patrol car to school in order to show support for his fellow officers, as well as affected members of the school, like senior Amanda Jane Whiting. Whiting chose to sign the patrol car in support of her mother, Karen Whiting, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in the summer of 2021.

“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer. Within a few months, she had a mammogram and then another mammogram, because there was something suspicious in the first. She had a biopsy, was diagnosed, and had a lumpectomy, where they found more cancer than they wanted to,” Whiting said. “Then she had a double mastectomy and is currently going through chemo. Today actually marks her second week of chemo, which is why today is so special.”

Whiting could not believe the demeanor of her mother throughout treatments.

“I cannot believe her attitude while going through it all. She is extremely inspiring,” Whiting said. “So obviously, this Pink Out means a lot to me and my family. I just want to do anything I can to support my mom. I always wish there was more I could do, but I can’t cure cancer, so the little things like seeing everyone in pink means so much.”

To show this support, both Whiting and her mother signed the pink patrol car. Whiting stated that under her family’s circumstances, events like this have become so much more impactful. 

“I have seen and participated in Pink Outs like this before. But it is so different now, given the circumstances. It means so much more than just putting on a pink shirt. When you wear that pink shirt, you are representing so many people fighting a bigger battle. So many people are affected by breast cancer, as it is the world’s most prevalent cancer,” Whiting said. “So I want to say thank you for supporting me, my mom, and all of those names on the cop car. #Team Whiting.”

By: Marissa Detwiler, Opinion Editor

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