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HOPE Bus Spreads Message


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U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill

As a reminder that breast cancer can be defeated, KCATA has unveiled a special pink bus dedicated to raising awareness of the deadly disease.

With the word “HOPE” and a pink ribbon emblazoned on both sides, the freshly wrapped bus with pink seats was introduced as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“I want the bus to say, ‘Go get checked out,’” said Robbie Makinen, CEO of the KCATA. “With 50,000 riders a day, we can bring awareness to a lot of people.”

Rolled out Oct. 10 at Union Station, the pink bus was created to make a statement about the importance of combating a disease that will affect one in eight women during their lifetimes.

Joining the unveiling ceremony was U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jackson County Legislature Chairwoman Crystal Williams, and author and business owner Lonnie Bush. All three women are breast cancer survivors and they emphasized the importance of early detection in their successful battle against a disease that’s expected to claim the lives of 40,000 women this year.

From left to right: U.S. Senator Clair McCaskill, Author and Business Owner Lonnie Bush, Julie Michael of the American Cancer Society, Jackson County Legislature Chair Crystal Williams, KCATA President and CEO Robbie Makinen.
From left to right: U.S. Senator Clair McCaskill, Author and Business Owner Lonnie Bush, Julie Michael of the American Cancer Society, Jackson County Legislature Chair Crystal Williams, KCATA President and CEO Robbie Makinen.

As one of 20 women in the U.S. Senate, McCaskill is part of an exclusive club. But she’s a member of an even more meaningful club: The Breast Cancer Survivors Club.

“The Breast Cancer Survivors Club is the strongest, best club of women on the planet. I am so proud to be a member of that club,” said McCaskill, who announced her diagnosis earlier this year. “We are sisters and we are united by a reality that we feel blessed to be alive because of our care, because of our diagnosis, because of the support systems we enjoy….But we have to remember how many women who are out there who don’t have that care, that don’t have that support.”

The KCATA wants to reinforce the message of McCaskill, Williams and Bush that breast self-exams and regular mammograms are important in catching breast cancer early. “I’m so proud the KCATA employees wanted to show support for those battling breast cancer and bring a message of HOPE to the streets,” said Makinen.

KCATA hopes the Breast Cancer Awareness Bus will spread hope for a cure and for recovery for those battling breast cancer. With 50,000 trips every day and almost 800 employees, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority recognizes that nearly everyone has been touched by breast cancer, a relative, friend or personally.

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Earlier this week, our employees joined Jackson County, Missouri, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and others in a walk in support of those battling breast cancer. The event also kicked off the Pink Ribbon Road Show which is raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.

Look for the HOPE Bus on RideKC routes in the coming year.

KCATA employees walk in downtown to show solidarity with those battling breast cancer, and to kick off the Pink Ribbon Road Show.
KCATA employees walk in downtown to show solidarity with those battling breast cancer, and to kick off the Pink Ribbon Road Show.

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