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Archive for Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bras Across the Kaw draws attention to fight against breast cancer

October 6, 2013

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Health Care Access wellness coordinator Haley Harrington, of Lawrence, attaches bras to a rope so they can be hung across the east side of the Kansas River bridge Sunday afternoon as part of Bras Across the Kaw. The purpose of the annual event is to draw awareness to breast cancer, as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Health Care Access wellness coordinator Haley Harrington, of Lawrence, attaches bras to a rope so they can be hung across the east side of the Kansas River bridge Sunday afternoon as part of Bras Across the Kaw. The purpose of the annual event is to draw awareness to breast cancer, as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Volunteers spent part of Sunday afternoon hanging hundreds of bras across the east side of the Kansas River bridge as part of Bras Across the Kaw.

Volunteers spent part of Sunday afternoon hanging hundreds of bras across the east side of the Kansas River bridge as part of Bras Across the Kaw.

The hundreds of bras you see lining the guardrail of the Kansas River bridge aren't there purely for decoration, though they’re bedazzled with countless colors and styles of paint, buttons and ribbons.

This temporary addition to the bridge has a dual purpose: to make a statement for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to promote Health Care Access, a clinic that provides health services to residents in Douglas County who are below the poverty line.

Shelly Wakeman, director of the clinic, has made sure that everyone gets the message.

“Everybody always notices the bras, of course, but I think in years past people didn’t know who was responsible,” Wakeman said. “It was like all these bras show up and you’re wondering where they come from.”

This year, to help people understand, Health Care Access created two large pink banners explaining the mission of Bras Across the Kaw.

“The whole purpose is to catch peoples’ attention and, if they’re a woman, hopefully get them to schedule their mammogram,” Wakeman said. “Or, if they’re a man who loves a woman, to get them to encourage her to schedule one.”

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime. It is estimated that more than 200,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. during 2013.

“We really want people to get mammograms for early detection,” Wakeman said.

Donations and money raised from sponsorship of Bras Across the Kaw will go toward women’s services at Health Care Access. The string of bras will be on display through Oct. 20.

Hanging the bras

On Sunday afternoon, Wakeman and a dozen volunteers worked to hang the approximately 300 donated bras along the east side of the bridge. They looped the bras around a bungee cord and used zip ties to connect them to the rail.

“OK, get ready to pull,” yelled Haley Harrington, the new Wellness Coordinator for Health Care Access.

A moment later, a few people on each side stretched the cord, beginning the process of decorating the bridge.

“In years past, I knew it was for breast cancer awareness,” Harrington said. “But I had no idea it was a Health Care Access thing. So that was one of our goals this year.”

Comments

hcaclinic 6 months, 1 week ago

The HCA staff had a great time planning this event this year!

We also have another great event coming up: the Health Care Access 25th Anniversary Celebration will be this Sunday, October 13th at the Lawrence Arts Center! The event is free to the public, with hors d'oeuvre reception and cash bar beginning at 6:30pm. A free screening of the documentary "The Waiting Room" will begin at 7:00.

Call Health Care Access at 785.856.1672 for more information. We look forward to celebrating our 25th year of serving the uninsured in Douglas County!

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Lawrence Morgan 6 months, 1 week ago

Great photographs, John - and every person involved with this project and with Health Care Access deserves a commendation.

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readit 6 months, 1 week ago

Awesome job, ladies! (BTW, it's Harrington).

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