Approximately one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime, according to BreastCancer.org. In 2016 alone, an estimated 246,660 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed within the United States.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and is dedicated to an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease through education, early detection, and supportive services.
Ogden native Ashlee Nielsen plans to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Utah 5K at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Oct. 15, in honor of her mother, Brenda Sparrow, who was diagnosed in 2010.
“I am walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K with mom this year because it marks the fifth year of her being cancer free,” Nielsen said. “My mom has always been my biggest supporter in all aspects of my life, and now it is time for me to give back and support her.”
Sparrow believes that it is important to share her experience with others, so she can educate others about the disease.
“If you need your mammograms, do not postpone them, go and get them taken care of,” Sparrow said. “It is the most important thing you can do, and I can’t emphasize that enough.”
Weber State University student Tauna DeHaan plans to participate in various breast cancer awareness events in honor of her aunt who was diagnosed in 2006.
“My aunt passed away in November 2006 — it will be ten years this year,” DeHaan said. “In celebration of her life, every October and November my family goes down to her grave, shares memories of her life and leave flowers in honor of her passing.”
DeHaan also plans to check around the community and donate to those who are battling the disease.
“I know how hard it is to see someone go through cancer and chemotherapy,” DeHaan said. “With breast cancer awareness being this month, I plan to do anything I can to help.”
While some students are participating in 5K fundraisers to raise money for breast cancer awareness, others are starting their own fundraisers for friends and family who have been diagnosed.
Utah State American Royal Miss is hosting the Queens for Hope Pageant Fundraiser on Oct. 14, at the South Davis Recreation Center, in honor a Utah pageant mom, Vickie Graham, who is currently fighting breast cancer.
Registration is at 6:30 p.m., with the show beginning at 7 p.m. It is $50 to enter the pageant, and $5 to come and watch the show.
Weber State student Katy Packer plans to show her support by entering the pageant.
“One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly toward the Graham family,” Packer said. “This is our chance to show support to someone who is always supporting us.”
Local organizations, such as Survey Sampling International in Layton, are offering to donate $5 to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for every SSI employee that wears pink on Oct. 14.
“Last year, our company donated over $1,300 to the cause,” Assistant Training Supervisor Stacey Baker said. “I am excited to be a part of it this year, and I am honored to work for a company that shows support for these things.”
While October is dedicated to breast cancer awareness, donations are accepted at anytime. Donations helps inspire hope for those who are battling breast cancer and those who are affected by it.