From car windows to front yards, the color pink has been splashed across countless surfaces to raise awareness for breast cancer. Now, that effort will have a new home — right in the pockets of Americans.
A series of pink-hued coins is expected to be released in 2018. The U.S. Mint will produce 50,000 $5 coins, which will be tinged with pink, as well as 400,000 $1 coins and 750,000 half-dollar coins with symbols to reflect the fight against breast cancer. A national contest will be held to pick the artwork for the coins.
The effort is meant to raise awareness for cancer patients battling the illness and the larger effort to combat new diagnoses. It also is designed to raise needed funds for the fight against breast cancer. A portion of the proceeds of coin sales will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The production of the coins would be covered by the sales price.
The idea was conceived of by New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who led legislation, known as the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, that called for the creation of the coins, which President Obama ultimately signed. In an interview with the Associated Press, Maloney cited the startling statistics about breast cancer: About one in eight women will develop the disease in their lifetime. “The only obstacle standing between us and a cure is further research, and that research needs funding,” Maloney said. “The funds raised through coin sales could be the ones that lead to the discovery of a cure to this devastating disease.”
While breast cancer remains the most common cancer among all racial and ethnic groups, impressive strides have been made to fight the disease. Death rates from breast cancer have dropped 34 percent in the last 25 years.