Pumpkin

Madison, a 4-year-old undergoing treatment for leukemia at Shands Hospital for Children at UF, holds her pink pumpkin on Wednesday morning as part of an event for patients and families.

Shands at UF will hold its first Pink Pumpkin Fest — an event that includes the Pink Pumpkin Pedal-Off, the Pink Pumpkin Painting Party and other festivities — Saturday on the lawn of the Cancer Genetics Research Complex, at the corner of Archer Road and Gale Lemerand Drive.

Proceeds will benefit the Shands at UF Triple Negative Breast Cancer Research Fund.

“When you think of the homegrown movement, buy local movement, this is a great extension of that,” said Lindy Brounley, the event coordinator and communications director for the UF Shands Cancer Center.

Last year, the Pink Pumpkin Painting Party attracted 500 people, and there was one table setup for the event. This year, more than 1,000 people are expected to attend, and there will be 17 exhibits, Brounley said. Breast, cervical and ovarian cancer screenings will be available at the Florida Department of Health exhibit.

The purpose is to raise awareness about early detection of breast cancer through mammography and once-a-month self-breast exams, Brounley said.

The American Cancer Society estimates one in eight women will receive a diagnosis of breast cancer in her lifetime, and each year about 40,000 women die from it, according to its website.

An estimated 30 percent of these deaths could be prevented if women older than 50 received annual mammograms, Brounley said.

Lizzy Jenkins, an 18-year-old health science freshman, said she was interested in participating in the Pedal-Off. She used to do charity events in high school.

More details about Saturday’s events are available at www.ufandshands.org/pinkpumpkinfest.