October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and pink is everywhere. From lapel pins and bracelets to jerseys and cleats, pink highlights faithfully appear this month in the name of awareness.
The USF ice hockey team, the Ice Bulls, will be joining the cause to help raise awareness and funding for cancer research. Like many, though, some players on the team don’t need to be reminded of the harsh realities of cancer.
Richard Budd — a junior majoring in biomedical sciences and goalie for the Ice Bulls — knows the pain that cancer causes all too well. Budd’s mother, Aleda, is a breast cancer survivor.
“When my mother was diagnosed, it was a hard time having to see her go through all of that,” Budd said. “Being able to go out there, even if it’s just for the one night, you get to feel some kind of respect and pay homage to what she went through.”
On Friday, the Ice Bulls will face off against FAU in all-pink jerseys. But this is not the first time the Ice Bulls have donned the pink jerseys. The team wore similar jerseys last year and later auctioned them off to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
This year, the team will not be auctioning its jerseys away, but will instead be taking donations of any amount to give to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
For the team, the pink jerseys are a fun way to help raise awareness of breast cancer with its fanbase, while also showing its support for the survivors and victims of the disease.
“It’s definitely a cool experience for me to be wearing the pink jersey,” Budd said. “Playing and seeing my mom in the stands, even if it’s just for the one game, I like to think that I’m honoring her in that way.”
According to Budd, last year’s game was one of the team’s better showings of fan support, surrounded by people in pink.
“We usually get a lot of people out for these games, and we encourage people to wear pink,” he said. “It’s definitely different to look into the stands and see pink and not green or gold. It’s cool to see that and see that we have the fans’ support, especially for a game like that where we’re honoring breast cancer survivors and victims.”
While the Bulls wear their all pink jerseys, many other teams support the cause and don the pink in some way.
“Usually when October comes, teams will use pink tape or have their own thing,” Budd said. “Most teams have their own breast cancer awareness nights. For the whole month, they usually have pink ribbons on their helmets or tape. They’ll be wearing some sort of pink along with us.”
The Ice Bulls hope to make this an annual event they can share with the community and honor all who have been affected by some form of cancer.
“We look forward to doing something that is not only hockey,” Budd said. “We look forward to having some extra meaning to the games and this is one of the times we get to do that.”
The Ice Bulls’ game to build awareness for breast cancer will be at 9:00 p.m. on Friday at the Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex in Ellenton, Florida.