This October marks the 29th annual National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, in support, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is thinking pink. From embracing stories of Michigan survivors to encouraging awareness of the disease, BCBSM is an advocate for early detection and making strides to end breast cancer. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, BCBSM electronic data interchange specialist, was saved thanks to early detection. “There was a spot that had grown that I didn't even know was there. A biopsy confirmed it was stage 2B cancer, which shocked me," Kirkpatrick said. Donna Green, senior instructional developer for operations development and learning management at Blue Cross, is also a proponent for early detection as a breast cancer patient herself. She sites the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Awareness Walk as part of her inspiration to stay well. "It is my goal as a participant to continue to raise awareness, not only about breast cancer, but about how every donation makes a difference," Green said. "From classes to transportation to appointments – every bit helps, more than you can imagine." The best form of breast cancer prevention is getting regular mammograms. Survival rates for breast cancer patients are dramatically affected by getting yourself checked early on. “I encourage all women to get their annual mammogram,” Kirkpatrick said. “If I hadn't, I would have a different story.” As an additional means of encouragement, BCBSM's Detroit Tower will adorn pink ribbon lights on both the north and south sides. The pink ribbons will remain illuminated every night in October to draw attention to breast cancer and the prevalence of this dangerous disease. Photo credit: A Healthier Michigan
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