Seniors at North Hills School District dressed in pink for Friday night's Homecoming football game in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month — and in support of a fellow classmate's mother.
Susie Clark was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the end of October 2007 at the age of 44. Her son, Dan Clark, is a senior at North Hills and a member of the band.
"I just think it's wonderful that these young men understand," Clark said, in response to Friday's show of pink. "It's very touching."
Clark, an active member in her son's school life — "I was the pre-school mom, the PTA mom, the Box Top mom, the Cub Scout mom ..." — said mammograms didn't reveal her cancer and that she was diagnosed only after insisting that a biopsy be done.
"Breast cancer runs in my family, and I do self-examinations," Clark said. "I knew something was wrong."
"My story is it's very important to do self-examinations. Get to know your girls," she said. "It saved my life."
She said her sons' friends and the North Hills community were wonderful after she was diagnosed and had back-to-back surgeries.
"I didn't have to worry about feeding my family for three months. Every day someone would bring us food."
She said seeing the sea of pink Friday at the game struck a special chord because she has known many of them since they were very young and has been an advocate for frank discussion about the issue.
"They're not just boobs or hooters or bobacious ta-tas," she said, repeating the line she oft-quotes to her sons and their peers. "They're to be respected."
"These kids, it says a lot for their character, that they do this," she said.
Among those wearing pink Friday were seniors Richie Tommarello, Andy Petrell, Pat Boles, Don Ross, Billy Rebel, Will Rutledge, Jaik Mehoff, Jon Costa, Brian Bianchi, Shane Doricko, Ethan Deroy, Brendon Diully, John Groves, Jon Kirsch and Drew Sieber.