It doesn’t matter if it’s freezing outside or a scorching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Road Scholar Transport’s brightly colored awareness trucks travel our nation’s roads 365 days a year, spreading awareness and hope to over 50 different charities, organizations and causes. This October, we pay particular attention to breast cancer, spina bifida, Rett syndrome, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) awareness.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and the reason for the pink truck that started Road Scholar Transport’s Awareness Campaign.
In 2007, President and CEO, Jim Barrett, decided to one up his wife and daughters after they became frustrated with him for not attending a breast cancer walk with them due to work. Jim went out and bought a brand new trailer— painted entirely pink with an eight foot tall oval ribbon, and had himself his very first awareness truck.
He said to his wife, “Anyone could put on a pink shirt or a pink band around their wrist. Go try an 80,000 pound tractor trailer all pinked up for breast cancer awareness.” Since that day, our breast cancer trucks have been asked to participate in several events across various states, even allowing people to write “messages of hope” on the trailer. We’ve also created a truck in memory of Judi H, musician Paul LaBelle’s niece, who passed away from breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 45.
According to NationalBreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer making it the number one cancer in women (except for skin cancer). Every 2 minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the US and an estimated 42,000 women and 500 men will pass on from it this year. (1)
As the site notes, the exact cause is unknown and although there are risk factors that increase the likelihood of a person developing breast cancer, between 60-70% of those affected have no risks at all. However, there are a few factors that put those at a greater possibility (the list below is presented by NationalBreastCancer.org):
*Women are 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer than men
*“Two out of three women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55” (2)
*Caucasian women are most often diagnosed than other races
*If there is a family history of breast cancer
*“Early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after 55), having your first child at an older age, or never having given birth can also increase your risk for breast cancer” (2)
*Lack of exercise
*Poor diet as well as being overweight
But there is hope. 64% of cases are localized to the breast and the 5-year survival rate is 99%. Currently, there are over 3.5 million survivors in the US. (1)
For more risk factors and information visit NationalBreastCancer.org.
*Spina bifida is a birth disorder resulting from “defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the backbone.” The cause of this disorder is unknown but is speculated to occur from instances such as defects in the neural tube or a folic acid deficiency. (3)
*Roughly 1400 babies in the U.S. are born with spina bifida each year (1 in 2758 births).
*Spina bfida is diagnosed through blood tests, an ultrasound, or amniocentesis, when a needle is used to remove fluid from the amniotic sac. (3)
*Treatment comes in many forms but sometimes is not required. Methods include surgery (including prenatal), a cesarean birth, physical therapy, and devices such as braces or wheelchairs.
Road Scholar Transport is spreading awareness for spina bifida with our Lyla’s Hope trailer. Lyla’s Hope is a non-profit corporation named after a little girl who developed spina bifida at birth. The trailer displays a midnight star-filled sky with the words “On the Road to Spread Lyla’s Hope for Children with Spina Bfida,” written in pink. The stars shoot across the sky via a pink fairy in the right corner of the trailer, who is blowing the stars from her hands, spreading Lyla’s Hope.
Lyla’s Hope operates with the purpose of offering financial assistance for medical treatment and equipment, educates families about spina bifida, offers emotional support, and assists with transportation, among other things. To learn more visit lylashope.com.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Rett syndrome is a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder that affects the way the brain develops, causing a progressive inability to use muscles for eye and body movements and speech. It occurs almost exclusively in girls.” (4)
*Rett Syndrome is known as a “rare disease” and affects 1 in 10,000 females. (5)
*There are four common stages of Rett Syndrome:
-Stage 1: early onset (occurring between 6 and 18 months old)
-Stage 2: rapid destruction (occurring between 1 and 4 years old)
-Stage 3: plateau (occurring between 2 and 10 years old)
-Stage 4: late motor deterioration (occurring after 10 years old)
*There is currently no cure for Rett Syndrome. Treatments include medication, therapy, and support services.
Road Scholar’s Rett Syndrome awareness truck features Francesca Scarano, a little girl who was diagnosed with Rett Syndrome at the age of one.
On July 23, 2014, three-month-old Jude Zayac passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). SIDS typically strikes children under the age of one unexpectantly and is known as the number one cause of death in children under one year of age, claiming the lives of nearly 4,000 each year.
In memory of their son, Greg and Theo Zayac formed the Jude Zayac Foundation with a mission to “raise funds to support SIDS research and enrich the lives of children living in their community.”
The Jude Zayac Foundation joined Road Scholar’s awareness fleet back in 2015 at the first annual Jog for Jude 5K and since, has been traveling our nation’s roads on a daily basis building awareness for SIDS and reminding everyone that “There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world.”
To read about the preventative measures you can take to help reduce the risk of SIDS click here.
Don’t forget to check out all of Road Scholar’s awareness trucks including our newest truck dedicated to our heroes who are on the road to recovery.