El Camino Hospital's nurses, doctors, staff and patients have joined hospitals nationwide in a uniquely fun and inspiring breast cancer awareness effort.
If they win the top prize, $10,000 will be donated to Breast Cancer Connections in Palo Alto.
The hospital's participation began after survivor Heidi Garland approached them with the idea. Garland, 51, underwent breast cancer treatment at El Camino Hospital (ECH) and first saw the Pink Glove Dance Medline video in 2009.
"It was so heartwarming and uplifting," said the San Jose resident that in 2010, she participated in a video with breast cancer survivors that was filmed in "chilly July" at Chrissy Field in San Francisco.
In 2011, Garland approached ECH to see if they would participate. Garland shared that one of the many reasons she loves ECH is because after the cameras stopped rolling everyone hugged and felt joyous. "There was so much warmth and compassion," she said.
"It was more than just the video. It's a prevailing attitude," Garland said. "The staff genuinely cares about everyone who walks into the facility."
The original Pink Glove Dance video premiered in November 2009 and featured 200 Portland, OR hospital workers wearing pink gloves and dancing in support of breast cancer awareness and prevention. Since, the video Medline filmed has been viewed more than 13 million times on YouTube and has spawned hundreds of pink glove dance videos that features healthcare workers and breast cancer survivors throughout North America. Medline, a medical supply company, donates a portion of each sale of the pink gloves to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
Now as a survivor—in addition to her communications work with Guildwest Agency and her role as a wife and mother of two sons—Garland has begun to actively advocate to bring awareness to early detection and finding a cure. She's a legislative advocate for the American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Action Network and fundraises for ACS' Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and every year her team—Heidi's Heroes—participates in Making Strides.
"I dance the dance, and walk the walk," Garland—a double mastectomy, skin and ovarian cancer survivor—said. "Whatever it takes to spread awareness that early detection is the key."
She acknowledges that ECH has some stiff competition with some of the other videos that bigger hospitals have produced—including some with aerial helicopter shots. ECH's video it's about showcasing the people and the issue, and this is like a "warm hand on my heart."
But finding a cure is the real goal.
"I hope this is our victory lap and we don't have to make more videos," she said.
Here's ECH's video from last year on Patch.