Kicking off breast cancer awareness month

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Avera Health employees and patients are adding some pink to their style.

This is to support the upcoming breast cancer awareness month in October.

October is breast cancer awareness month and Avera Health isn’t wasting any time spreading the word.

For a recommended donation of $10, people can have a pink lock of hair placed to raise awareness.

“You can make it as noticeable as you want, or you can make it as unnoticeable as you want, and yes, I’m very excited,” Kim Mentzer said.

Kim Mentzer is getting pink in her hair for the 7th year in a row during the We Care, Pink Hair event.

“I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2009 and then I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013,” Mentzer said.

But today Mentzer is a survivor– and thankful for the opportunity to participate in raising awareness when others may never get the chance.

“I feel like it’s just, it was unfortunate that I had these experiences but then I feel like I”m fortunate to give back to the community,” Mentzer said.

She says whether you’re a patient, family or even a staff member– having these hair pieces is meaningful for all.

And with proper care these hair extensions are expected to last about a month.

Dr. Michelle Bryan says these hair pieces get people talking– which in turn leads to more people getting screened.

“It’s events like this that people see the pink hair, they see the pink ribbon, things like that and they remember hey, maybe I need a mammogram, maybe I know somebody in the family. It’s just a good conversation starter,” Bryan said.

She says while some national guidelines suggest screening for breast cancer at age 50– Avera suggests starting even sooner at age 40.

“We have many women living with breast cancer or surviving breast cancer. This is not the death sentence that people think about and that’s really important. But it is important to catch it early and that’s what this is about,” Bryan said.

If you’d like to show your support through a pink hair piece, click here to see the next opportunity to participate.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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