Annual Breast Cancer Walk Brings Hope and Awareness to Spencer

posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 in General

Celebrate survivors, honor loved ones who have lost their breast cancer battle, support those who are currently undergoing cancer care and, in general, join us to help bring attention to the importance of increasing awareness of breast cancer screenings and treatment by participating in Spencer’s 2017 Breast Cancer Awareness Walk on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 4 PM.

“One in every 8 women in the United States is at risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer, so it’s essential to continue to draw attention to the importance of making healthy lifestyle choices and getting routine screenings to hopefully detect breast cancer in early stages,” said Jeannette Hasley, Spencer Hospital’s Women’s Health Director.

“This is a wonderful event as we have hundreds of people –women, men and children – gather with us in Spencer Hospital’s park to launch the walk following a brief ceremony. You can truly feel the camaraderie and bonding among survivors, current patients, family and friends as we join together to celebrate lives and pay tribute to those we’ve loss to breast cancer. It’s true that there is ‘strength in numbers’ and a bond among those who have experienced breast cancer as a patient or as a loved one. It’s fitting this year that we have received the gift of a beautiful quilt that has also been bonded together to create a strong, comforting blanket of support,” Hasley said. She explained the quilt was made using t-shirts from the hospital’s previous awareness walks and beautifully created and stitched together by a former patient of Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital.

“The theme for this year’s event is ‘So Strong Together’ as like a quilt, each piece is stronger and more beautiful as one, bonded together with a warm backing,” Hasley said. “We’ll display the quilt at the event and begin selling raffle tickets which will be available for purchase throughout the month of October and proceeds will benefit the Women’s Health Center.” Raffle tickets will be $10 each or three tickets for $25. The winning ticket will be drawn Nov. 1.

Another special activity on the day of the awareness walk is the optional opportunity to create a personal painting under the guidance of the Creative Spirits team. Preregistration is required to participate in the painting session which will be held in the Spencer Hospital conference center. To register for the painting session, go online to Creative Spirit's website. The cost is $25 to create a beautiful floral painting entitled, “Courage” with $5 from each registration fee being donated to Abben Cancer Center.

The awareness walk is free to attend, thanks to the sponsorships from Avera Medical Group Spencer, More 104.9 Radio, Northwest Iowa Surgeons, Abben Cancer Center and Spencer Hospital.  Registration for the walk begins at 3:45 pm in Spencer Hospital’s Grand Avenue Park. 

The walk takes participants through the highly visible area of downtown Spencer. From the hospital park, participants will walk south on Grand Avenue, across the bridge, and then return to the hospital, walking north on the east side of the street. For those who wish to walk a true 5K, there’s an additional loop through East Leach Park to achieve that goal.

In the case of inclement weather, the walk will take place in Southpark Mall. Please watch Spencer Hospital’s Facebook page, website and More 104.9 radio for weather-related announcements.

“It is so heart-warming to see the hundreds of people of all ages who join us for our awareness walk each October,” commented Mindy Sylvester, a Certified Breast Patient Nurse Navigator at Spencer Hospital. “This event is strictly for fun and awareness so people can walk or run as far or as little as they’d like and at any speed.”

Sylvester said that while anyone is encouraged to attend and walk, a special invitation is extended to breast cancer survivors who will be recognized during a brief ceremony prior to the walk.

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors, there is no cost to participate. T-shirts are provided as supplies last. Walkers who are interested in making a freewill donation to the Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation for Women’s Health Services or the Abben Cancer Center will have an opportunity to do so at the event.