The Two River Times™ is a 2013 sponsor of “Paint The Town Pink,” a breast cancer awareness initiative sponsored by Meridian Health System. By Tom PaolellaIf you knew a test could save your life, would you put it off?Mammograms are proven to save lives, yet many women put off getting their annual mammogram screening for a variety of reasons, such as simply not wanting to know the outcome, a hectic family schedule or financial challenges.New Jersey ranks among the top 10 states in the country for both incidence and mortality rates for breast cancer. Particularly at risk are the low-income, the working poor and uninsured women. Currently there are 586,300 uninsured women living in New Jersey.Paint the Town Pink committee members and volunteersgather for the First Annual Girls Night Out in 2008 at The Downtown in Red Bank in support of the Paint the Town Pink campaign. The Sixth Annual Girls Night Out is scheduled for May 9 this year.Seven years ago, a conversation took place at Riverview Medical Center about the growing percentage of women in Monmouth County, age 40 and older, who were not getting their annual mammogram. What started as an idea to educate women has grown into one of the most prevalent awareness campaigns in our area and has dramatically impacted the lives of thousands of community neighbors – cue Paint the Town Pink.In conjunction with the Jane H. Booker Women’s Center at Riverview, the mission behind the campaign is to educate local women about a very significant fact – that early detection is a woman’s best defense against breast cancer.In 2012, Paint the Town Pink grew to eight towns with the support of residents, businesses, town officials and volunteers. Each year, everyone comes together in May to show their support and spread the Pink message. For 2013, the campaign has expanded into a Meridian Health event, encompassing both Monmouth and Ocean counties and expanding into 23 towns, making the event the most represented to date.What began as an idea seven years ago has been transformed into a grassroots initiative that is changing lives in very tangible and meaningful ways.Paint the Town Pink 2013 runs from May 1-31.For more information about Paint the Town Pink visit www.PainttheTownPink. com and be sure to follow Paint the Town Pink on Facebook to see highlights of this year’s campaign and for a complete list of events and activities.