Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) Parents as Teachers (PAT) members stop for a photo at Wheeler Park in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2019. Photo by Mackenzie Morgan for OCG News
By Mackenzie N. Morgan
OCG News Staff Writer
A parade of preschool parents gathered at Rockdale Career Academy’s (RCA) Early Learning Center to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Oct. 8. The group, dressed in various shades of pink, walked in a caravan from RCA to Wheeler Park and back.
The Rockdale County Public Schools (RCPS) Parents as Teachers (PAT) program hosted the walk in an effort to get parents engaged in learning early warning signs and what resources are available to parents at little to no cost.
PAT participants were joined by breast cancer survivor and Rockdale County Board of Education member Pam Brown, who shared her story about her battle with breast cancer as a mother of three school-age children. Watch her story here.
“My youngest child was 3 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 45 years old and it never crossed my mind that I would get cancer at that age,” said Brown. “Early detection saves lives and I am so grateful that RCA is taking time to bring awareness to this population because we often think of cancer as something that happens in old age, not while we are raising our children.”
RCPS Parent Educator Crystal Guiterrez, who coordinated the event, said every October PAT hosts a breast cancer awareness initiative to promote healthy families. She said the decision was made to specifically reach to parents because of their busy lifestyles, which often excludes taking care of their own health.
“Most people with preschool age children aren’t thinking about getting cancer and we just want to do our part to encourage parents to take care of themselves so they can take care of their families,” said Guiterrez.
PAT provides parent education and family support to families with children ages newborn to 5 years old and pre-natal support for expectant mothers.