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Why Pink Carts?


Why Pink Carts?

March 10, 2010 - 05:13 PM
Comments (12)

You know that Pink Carts play a small but important part in the fight against breast cancer. But how did they come to be? Blogger Jo-Anne Perkins shares a moving story about her mother’s battle with breast cancer, and how that battle influenced her life.

Breast cancer stole my Mother.

Breast cancer has haunted my life for twenty-three years, ever since it stole my Mother from our family. While many memories have faded some details remain and often replay in my mind as if they happened recently. I remember being told the terrible news and how my thoughts starting wandering to the smell of burnt toast in the air and then suddenly there was no air and I couldn’t catch a full breath. I remember thinking about the chair I was sitting in and feeling little and wanting to fade into the fabric so that my Dad couldn’t see me anymore and would, of course, just stop talking. I remember the disbelief and yet I don’t remember tears. I don’t think there were tears, only fear.

My story is all too familiar.

My story is similar to thousands of other people that have lived through the anguish of watching women they love die from breast cancer. There is shock, disbelief, denial and then adrenaline which surfaces with the hope that you can change the outcome.

In just a couple of short months we learned that none of us could actually change the outcome, but our Mom’s passing did change our lives in ways that were both sad and wonderful. When she first got sick I was a newlywed and launching a new business with children planned sometime beyond five years, if at all. However, I had this crazy idea (remember the adrenaline?) that if there was a new baby then my Mother would consider her life really worth fighting for so I changed my plans and miraculously conceived a baby within weeks, but then lost my Mother to breast cancer shortly afterwards.

My Mom would have been a proud grandmother.

Our daughter was born nine months later and now at 23 she is an extraordinary person that has dedicated much of her life to missionary work abroad. A young woman of immense inner personal strength who lives her life in service of God and I am completely in awe of her grace. Her grandmother would have been extremely proud to know her, in my heart I believe she does.

A powerful coincidence and a chance to make a difference.

For years I’ve looked for ways to make a positive contribution in the fight against breast cancer; my two sisters and I are at heightened risk, along with millions of other women.

I spend much of my time working at a job I love, as the General Manager with Cascade Engineering, a Grand Rapids, Michigan company that makes rolling plastic trash carts. Cascade is a really innovative company that encourages its employees to think creatively and be entrepreneurial.

On September 1st, 2009, the 23rd anniversary of my Mom’s passing, our executive team was brainstorming ideas and because my mind and heart were elsewhere, I suggested that we create a Pink Cart campaign and give $5 from the purchase of every cart to the American Cancer Society (ACS) to be used in the fight against breast cancer. For me the suggestion was very personal but for the team it resonated as a way to do a really good thing for society and the business at the same time.

I encourage you to buy a Pink Cart and become part of the solution.

I am truly blessed with amazing and talented teammates at Cascade Engineering and before I knew it we were partnered with ACS, manufacturing pink carts and raising funds in the fight against breast cancer. I encourage you to purchase a pink cart, roll it to the curb, and let your friends and family know that you are part of the solution.

I am proud and profoundly humbled to be the first blogger on this site, which has been launched to provide a place for anyone who wants to share a story similar to mine or who wants to read about the experiences of others.

My Mother’s name was Arlen Kerr and she was an amazing woman that I honor today, and every day. Thank you.

Jo-Anne Perkins


Submitted by Veronica on
Wow, Joanne..this is awesome! Thanks for sharing your story and we love the idea!!

Joanne - this is wonderfully inspiring! I think it is such a fantastic blend of your passions. I am sure it will be a smashing success and for sure can't wait to get mine! Diane

Submitted by Cathy Grace on
A beautiful story, thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life.

Submitted by Lidia on
Happy Belated Birthday Joann . and thank you for sharing your story about your mother, thanks to our Heavenly Father my mother survived her Breast Cancer but not my mother In-Law she passed away 20yrs ago, my aunt just had Breast cancer surgery on sat, take care and God BLess You.

Submitted by Laurie on
I was the first in my family to get breast cancer...and found out today 10 years and still cancer free.I do the walk yearly...I love the pick cart but at this time cant afford one..wish I was my first mammogram at 40 that I found out about the ladies always get your mammograms....I didnt have funds to get one so found a place that does them for free...So no one has to go without a mammogram

Submitted by Peggy on
Joann, Thank you from my heart for your idea and to the company for going along with it. I am an 11yr. survivor, and lost 2 friends that was going thru treatment at the same time, both younger than I. To me your cart is saying to Breast Cancer 'Your on your way to the DUMP!!' It is so pretty pink on the outside but made to carry our ugly trash, refuse. Just as we are all pretty on the outside and cancer is the ugly trash growing inside of us. Through surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, etc, it is removed from our bodies. Sent to the DUMP!! So your logo 'Kick it to the CURB!' sounds awesome to me...I love it. Cancer/chemotherapy left me disabled, but I will be saving my pennies until I can purchase one of the Pink Carts. And a big THANK YOU! for the donation of $5 for each sold toward research, every penny counts. I myself am in a research program and although I ended up disabled, I have given drs. alot of information. If it helps one person, it is worth it. Thank you Joann for your ingenuity...and your story. God bless you all

Submitted by Faye on
My mother had breast cancer....twice. She then had lung cancer and died from emphysema. My 47 year old sister died of ovarian cancer and my dad died of pancreatic cancer. I am a 14 year Relay For Life participant, team captain and past event co-chair (5 times). The pink "kick breast cancer to the curb" container is awesome. Thank you!

Submitted by Linda on
I have a cousin who is a breast cancer survivor, after being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at the age of 26. I'm a nurse and see women almost every day who have breast cancer. I also see the occasional man with breast cancer. Men can carry the BRCA gene, and can pass it on to their children. I love the idea of the Pink Cart to raise awareness and funds, and I will get one from my local hauler. I would also love to see this program extended to a Red Dress cart, to raise awareness of heart disease in women, the number one killer of women.

Submitted by Avery on

The Pink Cart look's cool.

Submitted by Lindsay on

Hello Vanessa - 

Thank you for your interest in getting your very own Pink Cart! Please visit the "How To Get One" tab at the top of our website to determine the nearest participating Pink Cart company in your area. This may be a trash/recycling collection company (or "hauler"), or possibly a regional distributor that serves many states near you. We provide the contact information for all participating Pink Cart companies across the country. If you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us directly via email through the "Connect With Us" tab at the top of our website.

Thank you!

The Pink Cart Team

Submitted by Joy on

called both places you listed in NJ. Neither one knew anything about your product. How does a person in NJ buy these.

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