Men wear pink to raise funds, show support in fight against breast cancer

Men wear pink to raise funds, show support in fight against breast cancer
Charlene Shirk, co-chair for the 2018 Real Men Wear Pink campaign, is surrounded by local men who are supporting the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Jacksonville.
Mark Moss

Mark Moss

The third annual Real Men Wear Pink campaign enlisted 34 men – from CEOs and business owners, to attorneys, chefs and the leader of a popular swing band – to support the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Jacksonville.

The men were challenged to raise $90,000 this year and had already raised more at the Aug. 14 kickoff event than at the same point in previous years. Each candidate is challenged to raise at least $2,500.

Joining Charlene Shirk this year as co-chair is Ortega attorney John Phillips, who set an individual Jacksonville record last year by raising $20,324 – even while coping with Hurricane Irma flood damage to his home and his office.

Other local men include Riverside resident Mark Moss, of the Law Offices of Mark F. Moss, and longtime Ortega resident William Milne, Residential Mortgage Lender for TIAA Bank. Moss and Milne share why the campaign is important to them.

“I, like so many others, have had close friends and family members that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Most recently, my aunt, Michelle “Shelly” Moss, was diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Moss. “She was diagnosed with two different types of breast cancer, invasive lobular carcinoma and DCIS. Because of early detection, she did not require chemotherapy, and is a 6-year survivor. Raising money and awareness for breast cancer is something I have been doing since undergrad. Each year I would participate in events for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and my fraternity raised funds annually for Sharsheret [a Jewish breast cancer organization].” 

William Milne

William Milne

Milne also lost a loved one to cancer and is inspired by friends who fought breast cancer successfully.

“My passion to fight started in 2010 when I lost my mother, Susan Milne, to stomach cancer right before she turned 67 years old. I had only been married for two months before her diagnosis, and she then passed away two months later. Not a day goes by that she is not on my heart, mind and soul. I constantly think of all that we could’ve done together these past eight years. I dream of watching her interact with my sons, whom she never had the opportunity to meet. As a result of this, I’m driven by the opportunity to help anyone who is affected by cancer,” said Milne. “Likewise, three other friends, Allison Steilberg, Susan Donnell and Teresa Hale, have all faced breast cancer and victoriously and courageously. All three have a tremendous positive impact on my life, and they are shining examples of courage, determination, inspiration and what is possible.”

Moss added that, as a father-to-be, a large motivator is creating a better tomorrow for future generations. “The world can be cruel and hard enough as it is. When you have to be concerned about something like breast cancer – regardless of your age, race, socioeconomic status – the world can be even more daunting. I’m fighting to find a cure not only for those that are fighting now, but to hopefully prevent future generations from dealing with the devastating impact of breast cancer,” he said.

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