NORFOLK — Residents here can expect to see a pop of color on some sheriff’s deputies’ uniforms throughout the month.
To show their support for those who’ve survived, died, or are still in the fight against breast cancer, the deputies are buying and wearing special pink badges in their “Class A,” or dress style uniforms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Since 2017, about 90 deputies, or 25 percent of the force, have bought a pink badge for either $55 or $60 depending on their rank, with the proceeds going to benefit Relay for Life, said Deanna Leblanc, a spokeswoman for the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office.
“While the proceeds are donated to our Relay for Life team, it is mostly about showing support to our family, friends, and survivors,” said sheriff’s Lt. Felicia Morgan.
Previously diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2012, Morgan said once she learned she was up against breast cancer three years ago, she made a decision about what to do and is still in the process of “dealing with it.”
“I underwent a double mastectomy, radiation, and have had four reconstructive surgeries,” she said. “I have never really thought of myself as being in a battle with breast cancer.”
After learning about the Pink Patch Project, Morgan launched the pink badge program in Norfolk in 2017 — an initiative personal to her and many others, including two male deputies, who have fought against breast cancer in the Norfolk Sheriff’s office.
More than 390 agencies are involved in the Pink Patch Project bringing awareness to the fight against breast cancer and have raised more than $1 million to support breast cancer research.
While the deputies wear a pink badge, Morgan said the office’s staff have also bought patches for family members who’ve survived breast cancer or in remembrance for those they’ve lost.
“Almost everyone has a connection to breast cancer, whether they are survivors, or have family or friends who have won the fight against cancer,” Leblanc said in a recent news release.
To show their connection or support for those who have survived, are fighting, or have been lost to breast cancer, pink patches are available to the public for $5 when they send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.