LINCOLN, Neb. (COLOGNE) – The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2022, more than 287,850 cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. People living with breast cancer, or those who know someone who has, gathered in Lincoln on Sunday. a good reason.
Survivors, family and friends gathered at Holmes Lake for the annual walk. The purpose of the walk is to raise money for research, spread the word about warning signs and unite.
“This is the reason I do this because I don’t want other families to go through what I went through,” said Kathy Onoutka, a cancer survivor.
Katie was 30 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I didn’t think much of it because I was in my 30s, but at the time my mom was like, ‘We really need to check this out,’ and I’m forever grateful,” Katie said. “And my first mammogram diagnosed me with breast cancer.”
She credits her mother’s education about breast self-exams for discovering and ultimately diagnosing her cancer.
“My mom taught me to do things like this at a young age and I did it for years and that’s how I found my piece,” Kathy said.
Katie actually lost her mother, Ann, to breast cancer. Her mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer just one week after Katie’s radiation visit and died six months later. Kathy hopes to convey the same message to her own daughter.
“That’s why I’m doing this event too, for the future, for his health, to teach him to advocate for himself to get the service he deserves,” Kathy said.
Katie and other survivors’ goal is to raise awareness. Lisa McClung with the American Cancer Society said the walk is about community.
“This is for the survivors and the survivors and their families and their caregivers,” McClung said. “But it’s also about raising breast cancer awareness in our community and telling people how you can detect breast cancer early, educating them a little bit and giving them really good information.”
Kathy emphasized the importance of knowing your body and is taking steps forward in sharing this message.
“I just want to say to every woman out there, take care of your breast health, get to know your body, check yourself once a month and really know your body,” Katie said.
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