GREENSBORO- Wearing pink shoelaces is not just a fashion statement for the five members of the North Carolina A&T bowling team, but a sign of support for junior Amber Brown, who recently lost her mother Valerie to breast cancer.
"The team was really helpful," Brown said. "Coach even got pink shoelaces and little bows in support of breast cancer, and I thought that was really nice."
The idea for the wearing pink to help raise breast cancer awareness and to commemorate Valerie Brown, came from members of the team, said coach James Williams.
Senior April Terry mentioned wanting to do something for Brown in October, the month designated to bring awareness to breast cancer. Brown and sophomore Cherise Poole came up with the idea after Brown's mother succumbed to the disease after two years of treatment.
"She went into remission and then it came back, and she didn't want to do chemo again," Brown said. "She just wanted to do a diet and she wanted to see some guy in Brazil to cure it. She did get to do a lot her last couple of months of living, so she traveled a lot; she got to do a lot."
Brown's parents raised a dynamic young lady. Brown attended Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, where her academic honors included receiving the P&G Resident Scholar, Viking and the Superintended Awards.
Her stellar academic skills have served her well at A&T as well. As a chemical engineering major, she is a Dowdy Scholar, a HOME Program Scholar and a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and Alpha Lambda Delta.
Williams said he was notified of Amber's loss by one of her teammates, and that the whole team rallied to support Amber, and the overall cause of breast cancer awareness.
"I don't think the team looked at it as just supporting Amber, I believe that the entire team believes in the cause," Williams said. "They were pretty upset last year when there wasn't really anything done for the cause. But I want to believe that it helped Amber believe that her teammates were supporting her, whether she wanted to say it or not."
The team plans to continue to do their part to raise awareness for breast cancer and to support Amber, as well as other causes, next season as well. The team plans to do more than wear just colored shoelaces and ribbons.
The plan is to have a pink uniform in support of breast cancer awareness, as well as have a purple one for domestic violence/epilepsy awareness and red for HIV/AIDS awareness. No plans have been finalized according to Williams.
"Right now, I'm just going through and seeing what's going to allow us to support the most causes, and which ones the ladies believe in the most," Williams said "We might not be able to give in a monetary way, but helping to raise awareness the best way we know how, will hopefully make the ladies better people."