Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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As the month of October progresses, pink, the universal symbol for breast cancer awareness is represented all over the media, the community, and even the school. Because breast cancer is a prominent disease, the involvement and effort that goes into the month of October reaches new peaks with each passing year. So many people are taking part in supporting breast cancer in a variety of ways.  

Kelly Smail, a breast cancer survivor, takes great pride in her involvement and support. “I support Westmoreland Walks,” she says. Westmoreland Walks sponsored an annual “walk” itself which took place this year on October 1st at Twin Lakes. Proceeds were donated to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition. The foundation also offers a “spa day”, held each spring, where patients battling breast cancer are pampered and given relaxing exercises to help deal with stress.

One of the most important things to Smail is the research going on as a result of this significant month. This research involves finding a cure and learning new ways to help prevent it. She finds these new developments and discoveries absolutely amazing “especially the things being discovered now which were unknown three or four years ago”.

Much of this research being conducted is because of the Susan B. Komen foundation, which raises money that goes towards research and financial aid to those who can’t afford the high cost of treatments for this disease. For example, the Komen foundation distributes “pink slips” which allow free mammograms for anyone who qualifies financially.

 The Smail family does a lot of their own supporting as well. Smail Auto Group has gone completely pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month. Rosy balloons adorn the pink-paneled dealership. “We’re donating $50 per car sold. Half of it goes to Susan B. Komen and half of it goes to Westmoreland Walks,” says Smail.

A piece of advice Smail offers women around the globe is “you sort of have to go with your instinct.” Mammograms don’t always pick up on cancer, so women must always be aware and ready to take the next step of precaution. This month should call attention to women worldwide.

Senior Taylor Smail, daughter of Kelly Smail, believes awareness is so important not only to her, but to everyone. “It’s good to be aware of what can happen and how to prevent it,” she says. Having a grandmother, aunt, and mother who have all battled with breast cancer, awareness is especially significant to Taylor. “I like when people support it because it makes me feel like everyone is there for it which is very comforting,” says Taylor.

With the upcoming “pink-out” event at the football game on Friday October 28th, everyone is getting geared up with their peppy apparel. This day is a special day because the student Den will be filled to the brim with all shades of pink in support of breast cancer. Taylor wants to get word out that she thinks “everyone should know that the support really does help.”