Fighting Breast Cancer

Pink Tie Affair
The “Pink Tie Affair” was held at the UConn School of Business on October 16. (Nicolle Anderson/UConn School of Business)

‘Pink Tie Affair’ Spreads Message that Disease Impacts Everyone

Students, faculty and families gathered in a powerful display of reflection and hope during a breast cancer awareness fundraiser called The Pink Tie Affair.

Hosted by the UConn Chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) and Travelers EDGE, the most touching moment of the Oct. 16 evening was when members of NABA and the audience shared their personal stories of how breast cancer has taken their loved ones.

Seanice DeShields, director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives, shared a YouTube video featuring her cousin, Charnette Messe, who passed away after a fierce battle against breast cancer. Messe shared her story on the Oprah show, advocating for women to get tested and get tested early.

Tyler Fields ’17, the event planning chair, lost both of her grandmothers to breast cancer. She said she always knew she wanted to fundraise for the fight against cancer, and she thought college would be the perfect time to do it.

Last spring, students Brandon Madden ’16, Shantaye Taylor ’16 and Fields, along with Michael Mallery, program assistant for the Office of Diversity Initiatives, decided they wanted to give back through a fundraiser to benefit a nonprofit organization.

NABA Pink Tie Affair 2015
Left to Right: Students Shantel Goffe ’16, Shantaye Taylor, and Nadia Schwapp ’16 (Nicolle Anderson/UConn School of Business)

The planners said they choose the title of the event, “Pink Tie Affair,” to show men and women coming together to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

The event, which included music, food, raffles and presentations, raised nearly $1000 which will be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Corporate sponsors included KPMG and TEKsystems.

“Breast cancer is often thought of as a women’s disease, but it’s not,” DeShields said. “Breast cancer affects families–men, women and children.”

School of Business Dean John A. Elliott came out to show his support for breast cancer awareness and NABA. Although breast cancer hasn’t affected his family, Elliott said he recognizes the terrible toll it has taken across the nation.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, and the second most common among all cancers. Over 200,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2015 alone.

Giving a nod to the NABA motto, which is all about climbing and moving up, DeShields said “As we’re climbing up and moving to the next level, we want to continue to uplift and support others.”

She concluded the event by sharing the mantra: a diagnosis is not a death sentence.

NABA Pink Tie Affair 2015
Left to Right: Brandon Madden, Seanice DeShields, Tyler Fields, Shantaye Taylor and Michael Mallery (Nicolle Anderson/UConn School of Business)

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