Breast Cancer campaign 2017
Rocky Baier

A human Pink Hard Hat Ribbon was created last Friday by over 525 people on the Banner Health construction site, launching Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The ninth annual event was run by EMCOR Group Inc. to promote their “Protect Yourself. Get Screened Today.” campaign.

The 525 people were made up of construction workers and employees from the major companies working on the construction of the Banner Health hospital: EMCOR/University Mechanical & Engineering Contractors, Inc. (UMEC), Banner Health, and Sundt/DPR Construction. 

They join thousands of other EMCOR employees around the U.S. who will wear pink hard hats in October to promote getting screened. 

Speakers at the program all urged people to let everyone know to get tested, especially because of their personal connection to someone who had cancer.

“For me personally, my wife was diagnosed with cancer in the early part of this summer,” DPR Construction Project Executive Brian Brown said. “We went through the process of doctors, biopsies, surgery and radiation treatment all summer long and now she’s cancer free. If she had not done her annual breast cancer screening she would not be a breast cancer survivor.” 

Brad Thornton, President/CEO of UMEC, stressed early screening, especially because he saw both sides of what happened if the disease is caught early and late.

“My sister wasn’t as proactive; her road was devastating,” Thornton said. “She survived it, but it was very difficult for her. My mother-in-law attacked it, and she had the early detection and it made all the difference.”

Besides getting the message to people who could be at risk of cancer, this event also helped the construction workers realize how important their work is. 

“We had 500 people out there today that were working on this building,” Thornton said. “For them to understand that the quality and care they take in installing their work in this building is going to make a huge difference. It’s great that they can take away from this event and go up there and apply it to their work.” 

Thornton was also excited to be able to take new discoveries in medicine and put them to use to help people in the community.

After the event, construction workers were allowed to keep the pink hard hats to use as they built the new branches of the Banner University Medical Center.

“Many of our employees wear hard hats on a daily basis for personal protection, and we’re proud of their commitment to wear an EMCOR/University Mechanical Pink Hard Hat in October to raise awareness for breast cancer, reminding women and men they can help protect themselves by getting screened,” Thornton said.

Rocky Baier is a University of Arizona journalism student and Tucson Local Media intern.

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