Baton Rouge General ran their annual “Protect Your Pumpkins” campaign October 6.
In October, the hospital hosts pop-up pumpkin patches featuring pink pumpkins to promote breast cancer awareness and honor survivors.
The pumpkins are free to the public, and there are also yard signs and t-shirts available.
The “Porcelain Doll” pumpkins are genetically modified, and they were created by a breast cancer survivor.
There are only about 50 farms in the United States that grow them, and the hospital purchases them from a farm in Floydada, Texas.
The pink pumpkins originated as part of a national campaign for breast cancer awareness that launched in 2012.
This year, Baton Rouge General had a total of 5,000 pumpkins at their Bluebonnet campus, with smaller patches at their Mid-City and Ascension locations.
Vice President of Marketing and Communications Meghan Parrish says that the campaign is a fun way to get women thinking about mammograms.
“We’ve actually had a big increase in people getting their mammograms,” Parrish says. “We had about a 400% increase in mammograms from the first year to this year during the month of October.”
Parrish also says that they have seen the campaign work first-hand.
Last year a woman drove by the pumpkin patch, and it inspired her to look up the campaign online, Parrish says.
“She ended up coming in for a mammogram and they found cancer. So, she’s been going through her treatment all this year. She just graduated from treatment, right in time to come out to the patch this year and tell her story.”
All 7,500 pumpkins have been claimed for this year, but the campaign will run again next October.