NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Queens teenager has not only become the youngest person in New York City to participate in this year’s “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign, he’s also one of the youngest in the country.
For Ashtin Reich, wearing pink for 31 days in a row is an easy task.
“I have shoelaces that are pink and have words on them, ribbons, I have pins, shirts,” the Benjamin Cardozo High School sophomore said.
Easy when you compare that to what his mom and grandmother have been through. Both battled breast cancer and won. His mother is a survivor as of just a few months ago.
“A couple of years ago, it was untreatable and they came up with a new drug that makes it more treatable due to all the research that the American Cancer Society has done,” the teen explained.
As a thank you to the organization, the Bayside 15-year-old decided to join the “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign during breast cancer awareness month. He’s raising funds for the ACS and spreading awareness.
“Through finding this and putting his leadership skills to use, I know he is dealing with it and he is positively moving forward,” his mother Jennifer Reich said.
To raise the money, the sophomore sells items like t-shirts at Benjamin Cardozo High School.
He’s also encouraging his friends to wear pink and has organized teams for races and walks.
“I think he is setting a great example that you’re never too young and anything a young person can do is needed,” Emily Bottie, senior manager for community development at the ACS said.
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 266,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Around 2,500 men will as well.
Those are numbers Ashtin hopes, one day, to see drop with the help from his generation