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Pink Ribbon VW Bug is a Rolling Reminder

Photo by Cheryl Hodges For the second year, Hidden Valley High School students dressed in pink or black to join together to form a giant “pink ribbon” in the school’s parking lot. The event was organized to honor two of the school’s teachers who are breast cancer survivors, Pat Ammen and Beth Davis. Principal Rhonda Stegall joined history teacher Chuck Parker, who used a megaphone to guide the process while looking down from the roof above. Students documented the formation with both camera and video. Stegall estimated about half the student body took part in the event.

Kim Griggs loves her job and these days her profession follows her everywhere she goes in her newly decorated “pink ribbon” bug car. Griggs is a Women’s Imaging Specialist with Lewis-Gale Imaging at Brambleton. Her eye-catching little car is often found parked on a slant in front of the building where she hopes it serves as a reminder for women to get their yearly mammogram.

Griggs spent a sizeable amount of her own money to get the custom “paint job” which is actually a kind of “cling wrap that you can take off, but it’s going to stay on as long as I am working in this profession,” according to Griggs. Providing she doesn’t run it through a car wash, she is told the cling wrap will stay intact. She came up with the idea late in the summer, thinking it would be great to have it done by October, breast cancer awareness month.

Her friend J.P. Arrington, Owner/Designer of Longwood Signworks in Rocky Mount, did the job at her request. Griggs had a general concept for the design, saying “I came up with phrases I wanted, and he came up with the design of pink camouflage and the pink ribbon. We included the front hood and the back glass.” The car speaks for itself, but Griggs says it is “my personal private protest against the government or any doctor who thinks a yearly mammogram is not necessary.”

Kim Griggs’ pink Volkswagon is all about the message.

The suggestion in recent months that women might not need mammograms before age 50, and perhaps not even annually, did not sit well with her. Her resolve in combating that position is unmistakable. Like many, she has been touched by the disease; a close friend in her 30’s and two aunts died of breast cancer.

Griggs is constantly getting positive feedback on her car’s new look: people beside her in traffic give her a thumbs-up; people often take pictures; almost every little girl who sees it says “I love that pink car!” Griggs says that while the young girls are attracted to all the pink and the whimsical look, she is getting her message to “the moms who know what I’m representing.”

While she did this entirely on her own, Griggs says that the “medical community has been supportive of me doing it.” Some doctors let her know of their approval; one called to tell her that “I absolutely love it; you did a great job.”

The pink bug car has really livened things up for Griggs, but she is adamant that the only reason she did this was “to encourage women to still get their mammograms done yearly.”

Lewis-Gale Imaging is located at 4330 Brambleton Ave., 540-283-3700 and Longwood Signworks in Rocky Mount can be reached at 540-489-3851.

By Cheryl Hodges
[email protected]

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