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The color pink marks Breast Cancer Awareness Day across the Tribe

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Seminole Tribe made sure to do its part in raising awareness.

Tribal members in Big Cypress gathered to show support for the global campaign by wearing pink, decorating cookies and participating in a breast cancer walk. Some people had personal reasons for attending the event sponsored by the Health Department; others just wanted to show support for a worthy cause.

“We want everyone to learn more about breast cancer and have awareness for themselves,” said Brenda Bordogna, Health Education coordinator. “More knowledge means less fear. We try to get people to seek help early.”

About 45 people gathered in front of the Frank Billie Tribal Field Office for a photo before heading out to the Big Cypress Fitness Trail for the walk.

Breast cancer has hit Big Cypress Library assistant Brenda Townsend’s family hard; she lost an aunt to the disease, and her sister just completed her last treatment for breast cancer.

“She’s walking with me now,” said Townsend, who wore a photo of her sister on her shirt.

Victoria Hernandez started getting mammograms at age 20, after her aunt died from breast cancer.

“More and more people are getting breast cancer, so I want to stay on top of it,” Hernandez said. “I do all the walks, including in Miami. It’s a big thing for me and my family.”

Other reservations showed their support as well. Over in Immokalee, Tribal members and employees gathered on Oct. 16 for a Breast Cancer Walk to encourage awareness. In Brighton and Hollywood, the Human Resources Department held a Wear Pink Day in coordination with their employee birthday luncheons. The Health Department set up tables at the events to raise awareness about the disease, which affects more than 220,000 women in the United States annually, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Medical advances account for higher survival rates than ever, so detecting the disease early is critical. The mobile mammogram van will be in Big Cypress in November. The Health Department can schedule a mammogram for those people who haven’t had one yet this year. Contact the Wellness Center at 863-983-5798.

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.

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