‘Bras Across the Kaw’ puts focus on breast cancer

Hundreds of bras were strung across the Kansas River Bridge to raise breast cancer awareness. Hank Booth and Ian Rombough helped put up the display Friday.

Instead of using pink ribbons, a few Lawrence organizations decided to use bras to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

More than 800 donated bras were hung across the railing on the Kansas River Bridge at Sixth and Massachusetts streets.

Health Care Access Clinic, 1920 Moodie Road, 1320 KLWN and Lazer 105.9 FM worked together on the project, “Bras Across the Kaw,” which was started by Chris Merrill, of KLWN. Several local businesses also helped collect bras. They plan for the display to remain in place through Wednesday.

All funds raised in connection with the project will go directly to Health Care Access to ensure that everyone has access to proper screenings.

“The project is bringing a lot of attention to our clinic, which is wonderful,” said Nikki King, clinic executive director. “Part of our mission is to make sure people know about our services. We really want people to know if they are uninsured and low income that they can come to our clinic, especially during the month of October, we’re promoting women’s health, and making sure if someone needs a breast exam or a referral for a mammogram those are available.”

King said some people have been making donations but the outreach to the clinic’s target population is what will make a difference in the end.

King said young women should conduct self-exams monthly, and clinical exams should happen annually for all ages. Women older than 50 should receive a mammogram annually.

“Early (detection) is best,” King said.

Hank Booth of KLWN said the project touched him because his mother died from breast cancer when he was 10 years old. He said she was diagnosed when the cancer was in its late stages.

“If all this craziness can get one woman, one young woman to get an exam, it’s worth it,” he said.

How to help

The Lazer 105.9 FM is accepting donations for the Health Care Access Clinic to provide breast exams for the uninsured. To donate, call 843-1320 or visit 125 W. Sixth St.