It’s a thing all too easy to forget, but breast cancer doesn’t affect just women. Each year, thousands of American men are diagnosed with breast cancer, in addition to more than 240,000 of their mothers, sisters, daughters, co-workers and friends. 


The American Cancer Society introduced the Real Men Wear Pink campaign to Charlotte in 2016 as a way to give men a leadership role in the fight against breast cancer. Community leaders in Charlotte and around the nation use the power of pink to raise awareness and money. Each Real Men Wear Pink participant accepts a fundraising challenge and competes to be the top fundraiser among his peers by the end of the campaign. 


In its first two years, Real Men Wear Pink of Greater Charlotte raised more than $100,000 to support breast cancer initiatives, including innovative research, patient services, and education around screenings and risk reduction. This year, 16 dedicated community leaders are working hard to reach their $65,000 fundraising goal: 


Dr. James Appel of Novant Health Appel Plastic Surgery 

Bruce Bellamy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department 

Jonathan Breton of Flexogenix, Kevin Campbell of WSOC-TV 

Tim Cochran of Duke Energy 

Bret Golab of Heidenhain Corporation 

Dave Holtzman of Search Solution Group 

Ross Jeffries, Jr. of Bank of America 

Will Medlin of Horack Talley 

Bob Morgan of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce 

Christopher Moxley of 704 Shop & TIAA 

John Overly of Duke Energy 

Kurt Sowers of CapRock 

John Taylor of Carowinds 

Middle school student Wyatt Thornton 

KJ VenDerwerken of Movement Insurance 


“Real Men” commit to wearing pink throughout October, highlighting breast cancer issues and fundraising through social media, and have been involved in events, including the Pink Out the Park baseball game with the Kannapolis Intimidators and a reveal party at Napa on Providence announcing this year’s candidates. One of the biggest events is upcoming, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk presented by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage on Saturday, October 20 at the zMAX Dragway. Funds raised by Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks and the Real Men Wear Pink campaigns allow the American Cancer Society to provide free rides to treatment for breast cancer patients, host a 24-hour helpline for patients at 800-227-2345 and provide free lodging for patients who need to travel to the Greater Charlotte area for life-saving services.


Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21