Utah fights breast cancer with walks, runs, coins, karaoke

Awareness month • Events aim to raise funds and promote mammograms.
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October is breast cancer awareness month, and Utahns are raising funds and promoting mammograms with fun runs, karaoke and a new coin inspired by KUTV anchor and cancer survivor Mary Nickles.

Advocates note Utah has the second lowest rate of mammograms in the country, and they urge women to get screened to detect breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stage.

Many women don't get mammograms because they have no family history and believe they are not at risk. But of 1,500 Utah women diagnosed last year, 1,200 had no family history, according to Intermountain Medical Center's Breast Care Center.

Mary's Nickle • IMC's Breast Care Center is passing out a new pink and silver coin, dubbed Mary's Nickle, encouraging women to register it at www.MarysNickel.org and schedule a mammogram. Women can then pass it along to a family member, friend or neighbor to encourage her to do the same.

"The purpose of Mary's Nickel is for it to become a conversation starter that women and men can use to encourage their mothers, sisters, aunts, or neighbors to schedule a mammogram," said physician Brett Parkinson, medical director of the center, in a statement.

Nickles was diagnosed with breast cancer last year after she reported a news story showing how easy it is for women to get a mammogram. "I know for a fact that mammography and early detection saved my life," Nickles said in a statement.

Cups for a Cause • On Saturday, Oct. 6, the Breast Care Center at Jordan Valley Medical Center will host a "Cups for a Cause" 5K and Kids 1K Fun Run. Runners will start at Veterans Memorial Park (1985 W. 7800 South) in West Jordan at 8:15 a.m., and the kids' fun run for those age 12 and younger will start at 9:15 a.m.

Runners and walkers can register in advance for $30 at CupsForACause5k.com, or in person the day of the race for $35. Fun run registration is $10. The fees cover the center's costs for the run. Find more details about Cups for a Cause here.

Utahns are invited to run and walk to support the women they know and love, and the ones they don't who have been affected by breast cancer, the hospital said in a statement. "Detecting breast cancer in its earliest stages is crucial to women's health," said CEO of Jordan Valley Medical Center, Steven M. Anderson.

Sponsors for the event include Chick-fil-A at Jordan Landing, Coldstone Creamery, Maverik, Dannon, Synergy Dance Academy and Gold's Gym Utah.

Strides Against Breast Cancer • The American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a nationwide series of walks to raise funds and awareness to end breast cancer. Utah's walk is set for Saturday, Oct. 13, at 8 a.m. at Liberty Park, (900 South and 700 East, Salt Lake City). Find details about Utah's walk here.

Karaoke for the Cure • A fundraiser called "Karaoke for the Cure" is set for Saturday, Oct. 13, at Burt's Tiki Lounge (726 S. State St., Salt Lake City) from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., with a door charge of $5 per person plus any contributions. Proceeds will go to the Huntsman Cancer Foundation for breast cancer treatment research. Door prizes and a silent auction are planned.

Contributions can be made directly to the foundation here. The fundraiser is a project of Beverly Brehl, who is fighting metastatic breast cancer. —

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The annual observance began more than 25 years ago. Learn more and find resources here.