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Prevention is best! Know your breasts!

Participants in TWU’s annual Pink Promises Breast Cancer Awareness Walk chanted their way across campus on Tue., Oct. 4. The event, organized by Assistant Director of Health Promotion Sonia Redwine and Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority, focused on prevention, early detection, and celebrating those who have been impacted by breast cancer.

The crowd gathered outside Hubbard Hall at 5:30 p.m., decked out in pink bandanas, tutus and t-shirts.  After the walk, balloons were launched as a symbol of respect and honor for survivors and for those whom we have lost to cancer.

Among the crowd was Assistant to the Associate Provost and breast cancer survivor Jacqueline Folsom, who spoke at the 2012 Pink Promises Walk. Folsom shared her personal story and a few pieces of valuable advice with The Lasso.

Nearly five years ago, Folsom was diagnosed with an extremely rare disease that only develops in one to four percent of all breast cancer patients: Paget’s disease. Her condition was ductal carcinoma in situ, meaning the cancer was stationary in the breast duct and had not yet become invasive. In cases such as Folsom’s, a mammogram cannot always detect the existing cancer.

Fortunately, Folsom was very proactive and caught the disease at an incredibly early stage. Folsom maintains that knowing your body, staying aware, and being vigilant about checkups are some of the most critical preventative measures to take. Likewise, Pink Promises urges individuals to know their risk of breast cancer, which varies depending on age, gender, and family history.

Looking back on her own experience, Folsom offers advice to those who have been diagnosed with cancer: “Have a support person that can go with you to all your appointments to take notes. When you’re in something—when you’re that person who has the cancer—you’re hearing things, but you’re not putting them together.” She also suggests that patients collect as much information as possible and seek out a second opinion.

Among her countless insights, Folsom says, “When you heal, you don’t remember the bad things—you remember the good things.” Annually, Pink Promises reminds us of how lucky we are to have such strong and inspiring individuals in the TWU community.

Who in your community has inspired you with their story? Leave a comment and tell us below.

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