October is international Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It was a whole month dedicated to encouraging people to get tested, do research, and spread awareness of the life-changing illness.
One in eight women develop breast cancer in their lifeline, making it one of the most common types of cancer affecting women. Junior Kylee Dirks’ aunt was diagnosed at age 45. This changed the whole family’s daily lives. Her aunt lost the ability to go and do her everyday tasks that she was used to.
“She no longer had the strength she used to which caused her mental health to suffer also,” said Dirks. Her aunt concluded treatment at age 50 and has been cancer-free since.
There are plenty of ways to get involved in the spread of awareness. There are walks such as Race for the Cure and places you can donate to resources, and research like the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Dirks’ family goes to the annual walks every year with her whole family.
“The walks are really fun, the whole family dresses in pink and writes “Team Mary” and other sayings on their shirts that helps everyone get involved,” said Dirks.
Breast cancer can still have lasting effects even after treatment is over. This is very common but is different for every individual.
“She has a really bad side effects of chemotherapy, but she took it day by day,” said Dirks
Dirk’s aunt has to go into check ups so she can make sure she is staying healthy and cancer-free.