Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Oct. 3rd

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Throughout the month of October, several communities across the valley will host events supporting the fight against breast cancer. Renelle Laffe-Oldenburg, founder of Hope in the Valley, and Sara Martinek, a breast cancer survivor joined ‘Hello Wisconsin’ to talk about the deadly disease and the event Hope in the Valley.

To help fight breast cancer, Sara shared her story of early detection. She noticed a lump unintentionally one evening getting ready for bed. On May 14th, 2014 Sara went in for a mammogram and was diagnosed with breast cancer. Sara's maternal aunt also had breast cancer in her 20's. They discovered that Sara's family carries the BRCA1 gene which is connected with cancer causing genes.

Chemotherapy was necessary due to the aggression of cancer, with multi focal grade 3 tumors and as a preventive measure to help stop a reoccurrence of the cancer. Sara had a double mastectomy with axillary lymph node dissection as well as breast reconstruction at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. On September 10th, she celebrated two years being cancer free.

Sara says early detection is the key to survival. Women over age 40 should have a mammogram yearly. Mammograms save lives and minimize the treatments needed for a cure. Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Barron, Eau Claire, Menomonie and the mobile unit in Mondovi all have the latest 3D digital technology to detect breast cancer early. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 98 percent among individuals whose cancer has not spread beyond the breast at the time of diagnosis.

To help support breast cancer awareness and research Rennelle Laffe-Oldenburg created Hope in the Valley. All funds raised support the American Cancer Society and all cancers. It is Saturday, October 22nd at 8 a.m. The Glitz and Glam 3 Mile Fun Walk/Run cost $10/person, $50/team of 6, $100/team of 12. The length of the race is three miles. It’s at The Plaza to Mayo Clinic Health System on Clairemont.

It’s open to all ages and includes several fun stops including an egg carry, crab crawl, bean bag toss, inspirational quote writing on sidewalk, giant Jengas, gunny sacks, chalk and glitter stop, beam walk, and finish photos.

Also at from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. there is the Retreat Center Walk/Run. It costs $20/person or $30/person. There are beauty & fitness demonstrations, food & beverage sampling, athletic-wear fashion show by Scheels, motivational speakers and wellness information & services by Mayo Clinic Health System