Wyeth adds pop of pink to Halloween display

Some of the pumpkins that decorate the Wyeth property are pink this year, a reminder of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

As darkness fell and rain showers intensified, the young woman wearing a hoodie and wielding a can of spray paint worried momentarily about being placed in handcuffs.

Victoria Wyeth, a breast cancer survivor, works her magic on some of the pumpkins.

She understood that she would have some explaining to do if police saw her traipsing around the Wyeth property on Wednesday evening, Oct. 11.

But it probably wouldn’t have taken Victoria Browning Wyeth too long to plead her case – especially since the beloved granddaughter of Andrew Wyeth was simply indulging her well-established passion for creative outreach.

For the past several years, Victoria Wyeth has celebrated Halloween – her famous family’s favorite season – by positioning 30 pint-sized pumpkins on the fence posts of her grandparents’ residence. During her frequent appearances at area schools, she learned that the decorations came into view on many of the local school bus rides.

Once she learned how much the children looked forward to the mini squash display, she enjoyed assembling it even more. But this year’s array carries a much more serious message, one that required the addition of a different color.

Wyeth was diagnosed two years ago with breast cancer and fought through successful treatment only to have a second scare. Now, she’s determined not to face that demon again. And, consistent with Halloween's cult status among the Wyeths, she has a double mastectomy scheduled the day before the holiday.

“What a way to combine those two elements," she noted with a quizzical smile. "This is not something that I avoid talking about. If I can help one other person by increasing awareness, then it’s worth it.”

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and so a handful of the pumpkins flanking the Wyeth property are painted pale pink.

“This just seemed like a good thing to do,” she said as she transformed another pumpkin into a pink statement. “I hope it gets people talking.”

It's the kind of sentiment that Andrew Wyeth, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this past summer, would certainly applaud.


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About Kathleen Brady Shea

Kathleen Brady Shea, a nearly lifelong area resident, has been reporting on local news for several decades, including 19 years at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She believes that journalists provide a vital watchdog service in the community, and she embraces that commitment. In addition to unearthing news, she also enjoys digging up dirt in her garden, a hobby that frequently fosters Longwood Gardens envy. Along with her husband, Pete, she lives in a historic residence near the Brandywine Battlefield, a property that is also home to a sheep, a goat, and a passel of fish.



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