MIDLAND, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Students at South Elementary in Midland painted the playground pink this week in honor of breast cancer survivors in the Basin. School staff said the annual event is a great way for students help raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of exams and early intervention. 

Teacher and breast cancer survivor Irene Coggins said she loves to see the students get involved and hopes they go home and tell their families about the reason they tied pink ribbons to the fence. 

“It’s getting the information out to the kids. We give them the ribbons, and they put them out just to let you know- not just awareness for us, but awareness for parents and the neighborhood as well. It actually means a lot to me. I am a breast cancer survivor,” Coggins said. 

The 10-year survivor said her cancer diagnosis came as a surprise and that’s why she is so encouraged to see her campus work each year to raise awareness in young children. 

“It came as a surprise to me. I was very young- 40 years old, so not quite when somebody’s expecting it at such a young age… it kind of led me to, you know, (think) okay, I need to get it out there. We need to let… women know, you need to do your exams yourself…and make sure that you go to the doctor and get your mammograms and do it on a yearly basis,” Coggins said. 

Coggins said she hopes a cure for breast cancer is found soon, but until then, she is happy to see the students on her campus help spread awareness each October.