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Weed ACH hosted breast cancer awareness event

Woman in pink hat and shirt, wearing a racing number, speaking to an audience Army Col. Nancy Parson, the Weed Army Community Hospital commander, speaks to the participants and volunteers of the Breast Cancer Awareness 5k Run/Walk October 24 at Fort Irwin, Calif., hosted by Weed ACH. (Photo by Kimberly Hackbarth, Weed Army Medical Center.)

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Last week the Weed Army Community Hospital at Ft. Irwin, California hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness 5k Run/Walk and Community Health Fair in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Army Capt. Megan Jensen, a clinical staff nurse with Weed ACH, organized the event with the hospital’s Breast Cancer Awareness Committee.

“Weed Army Community Hospital hosts this event because [Fort Irwin and the National Training Center]’s health is important to us and we want to ensure all Soldiers and their families have all the resources and education they need regarding education, screening, detection, and treatment for breast cancer,” she said.

“National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer, spread the word about mammograms and encourage community organizations, families and other to get involved,” said Col. Nancy Parson, the Weed ACH commander.

Local organizations and programs from Weed ACH set up booths at the event to share information and resources.

One particular booth specifically highlighted male breast cancer.

“There are more than 2,000 men diagnosed with breast cancer each year,” Parson said to those who attended the event.

Jensen coordinated the run/walk and community health fair based on what is done nationally in recognition of breast cancer awareness, she said.

“A 5k walk/run has become a popularized tradition and [...] physical exercise is shown to reduce risks of cancer, and Weed Army Community Hospital enjoys promoting physical activity and overall health for our Soldiers and their families.”

To ensure physical distancing guidelines for coronavirus safety, walkers and runners separated into different waves that started one minute apart.

The top three youths, top three men, and top three women finishers were recognized at the end of the race.

“My mother passed away from cancer, my stepmother passed away from breast cancer, and my father currently has cancer,” Jensen explained about the significance of the event. “Cancer awareness of any kind is important to me, and as a healthcare provider I in turn want to share the resources and information that I have to help others.”

Parson also encouraged those who have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer to talk to their doctors.

“Please remember that breast cancer impacts families every day,” she said. “Not just during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

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