The Wildcat cheerleading squad will wear pink items for Saturday’s home game in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
Madison Sweet, co-captain of the squad, said the team does a “pink-out” game each year for a home game, not Homecoming, in October. Sweet, junior marketing major from Plano, said her high school cheer team also wore pink for breast cancer awareness every year. Her grandmother overcame several bouts with breast cancer, so her whole family participates in the stands.
“It’s really about the fight because it’s mostly women, and women aren’t really seen as fighters,” Sweet said. “So I think the pink and the whole October and everyone standing together just makes it a fight for women.”
The cheer squad will have pink fingernails, wear socks dyed pink and use pink pom-poms borrowed from Hardin Simmons University. Sweet said the tailgate will participate in the pink-out and her social club, Tri Kappa Gamma, will require pledges to wear pink.
“It’s definitely awareness cause it’s pink everywhere so how could you miss it?” Sweet said.
Another member of the team, Alyssa Padilla, freshman biology major from Fort Worth said her grandmother survived breast cancer. Lauren Mende, freshman communication sciences and disorders major from St. Charles, Illinois, said awareness this year is more important to her because one of her mentors was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in September. Reid McCorkle, mascot and sophomore ministry major from Abilene said his aunt on his dad’s side of the family survived borderline Stage 4 breast cancer six years ago. She was diagnosed again last Christmas and had to have a double mastectomy.
“Even then she joked and only complained when it really hurt,” McCorkle said. “My dad’s side has always tried to live as pillars of strength for others, but she definitely lived as that pillar for our family.”
The cheerleading squad posted on social media to encourage students to participate in the pink-out Saturday at 6 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium.