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Roscoe middle school students create project raising awareness for men’s breast cancer

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ROSCOE (WREX) — The breast cancer awareness movement has become cemented into the culture of the United States.

People are seen every day representing the pink ribbon in some way and the month of October has been Breast Cancer Awareness month for years.

However, the thought of breast cancer is typically connected to women in particular.

At least that was the thought of a group of 7th graders at Roscoe Middle School.

A mindset that changed one day after reading a news article on breast cancer.

"We discussed that men can get breast cancer as well and they didn't know this so they thought that was a problem because their parents didn't know it either and we needed to do something about it," Roscoe Middle School health & science teacher Cindy Myroth said.

The kids' motivation led to the creation of CODE WO(MEN).

As the name suggests, the project aims to bring awareness to men fighting breast cancer.

The class split themselves into groups to brainstorm ideas for their mission to show support for men.

One of the first ideas was to make a change to the iconic pink ribbon.

"They decided to do a logo that's both blue and pink because blue signifies men and pink signifies girls," Myroth said.

The logo led to shirts which led to wristbands and it kept growing from there.

CODE WO(MEN) soon caught the attention of the school principal who, being impressed with the student's effort, decided the project should be something the entire school jumps on board with.

Wednesday, Dec. 11 became CODE WO(MEN) Day.

Students wearing the new blue and pink ribbon flooded the halls and classrooms.

The support their mission has received has the students feeling fulfilled.

"This is great because everybody did their part and we came through.It feels really good that we accomplished our goals,"Roscoe Middle School seventh grader Jakob Deleo said.

CODE WO(MEN) became more than just a class project for the kids.

All of their work helped them bond and grow closer with one another.

"We got to work with different teams and we met new people. It all brought us together and showed us how we're all different but all have similarity in how we can all learn to work together as well," Roscoe Middle School seventh grader Sydney Molander said.

"We all really wanted this to happen. We used the knowledge we had and we learned more and we just did the best we could to peace it together with the help of our teacher."

A teacher who is impressed with how far CODE WO(MEN) has gone.

In 26 years at Roscoe Middle School, she's never seen a group of students accomplish this much through a class project.

"I've had projects start before and then it ends up fizzling because it's not me doing the entire project," Myroth said.

"For this one, I let them take the reigns and I've help some but they worked really hard and they just kept it going."

CODE WO(MEN) created 300 shirts to sell to students at the middle school.

All proceeds went back toward a charity for men's breast cancer research.

Evan Leake

Evan Leake anchors for 13 News Today and 13 News at Noon. Evan grew up in Darien, Illinois, a south-west suburb of Chicago. He came to WREX in 2017 and worked his way to the anchor desk in May of 2019. He coordinates both the Teacher of the Week and Inspiring 815 series for 13 News. You can connect with Evan at eleake@wrex.com or Evan Leake on Facebook.

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