Melody Martin Awareness Saves Lives Award
The Melody Martin “Awareness Saves Lives” Award was created in memory of one of the founders of the Bloomington Breast Cancer Awareness Walk, Melody Martin. It is intended to honor an individual or an organization in Monroe or a surrounding county who symbolizes Melody’s positive spirit while striving to promote the importance of breast cancer awareness. 2019_Melody Martin Award Nomination_Form
Breast Cancer Awareness Walk History
Melody Martin was a local Bloomington woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993. Melody felt that she did not have enough information to be her own advocate for treatment and so treatment was delayed. Because of her experience, Melody felt that women should be more aware of early detection and treatment options for breast cancer. One night she and a group of friends started talking and the idea of a walk to promote the awareness of breast cancer was born. Melody felt strongly that the walk should be free and welcoming to all who wanted to participate including “well behaved pets”. Melody also felt strongly that the walk should not be a fund raising activity so sponsors were sought in the Bloomington community to defray the cost. Bloomington’s Breast Cancer Awareness Walk was the result. The first walk held on the IU campus at Bill Armstrong Stadium in 1997. The walk was later moved to Shower’s Plaza where it has remained for several years. The walk is about a mile long, through the downtown streets of Bloomington to IU’s Sample Gates and back to Shower’s Plaza. Sadly, Melody lost her fight against breast cancer in 2005. The Melody Martin Award is now given annually to a group or individual who has contributed to further the cause of breast cancer awareness. The walk is still organized by a group of local women who volunteer their time for breast cancer awareness. The group members have changed over the years but remain dedicated to the mission of the Walk.
Melody Martin Awareness Saves Lives Award for 2018
Congratulations to Stephanie Benham! Stephanie founded the Pink Chain Project in 2013 after learning her cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. As a group project, Benham wanted to orchestrate something that showed how many lives had been affected by cancer. That October, in recognition of Breast Cancer awareness month, Benham asked her students to write the name of anyone affected by cancer on a pink loop. The class decided any and all cancers were to be included, as they all have the same impact. The loops kept multiplying with the length growing and growing. The message quickly became more about the strength in numbers. Her Pink Chain Project just concluded its 6th year!