Human ribbon raises cancer awareness

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COLUMBIA – Pink blouses, pink shoes and pink Hawaiian shirts are not the norm on the Faurot Field, where the Mizzou Tigers play their home games. But Wednesday, the stadium was filled with people dressed in pink to create raise breast cancer awareness.

More than 500 people gathered took part in a photo to be used by charitable organizations and on social media.

MU professor Bill Horner and his wife Heather Carver are both cancer survivors and they have arranged the human ribbon photo shoot for 11 years.

“This is a way to kind of celebrate the victory and beating breast cancer, a fight that so many women go through. It started as a personal family moment and it just got bigger and bigger,” Horner said.

This year, more people than ever joined the couple to take the photo. A lot of Horner’s students participated along with Mizzou football coach Barry Odom.

The first breast cancer awareness photo was taken a year after Heather Carver was diagnosed with the disease, and it all began with an idea from her husband, as a love note or sorts.

“I think about this as my husband’s way of saying ‘I love you’. I feel like it’s a bigger valentine than Valentine’s Day to bring a thousand people to Faurot Field and to say ‘breast cancer, we need a cure now’,” Carver said.

The couple raises money for a number of different cancer organizations throughout the year. The two say they hope the ribbon photo convinces more people to see their doctors if something is wrong. And for the patients who are fighting cancer right now, Horner has a special message.

“Keep up the fight. Medical technology is advancing every day and you can win too. And you will win, just keep on fighting”.