Recognizing Breast Cancer Awarness Month

The month of October is dedicated to spreading awareness about Breast Cancer.

There are four different stages of this disease. With each stage, there are multiple treatments, including surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, biological therapy, and radiation therapy. There are various outcomes from the stage of breast cancer and how aggressive the treatment will be. Senior Ava Wingenbach’s mother was diagnosed in early December 2021.

“Her doctors found a tiny spot during her yearly mammogram, but at first the doctors did not think it was cancerous. Then, they brought my mom in for a biopsy and concluded that it was cancerous,” Wingenbach said.

In their family history, there were no increased risks for the women in the Wingenbach family.

“She didn’t think it was cancer because the doctors were confident it wasn’t with the knowledge of no history of it with the women in my family,” Wingenbach said.

If her doctors would’ve brushed off this spot they found because it was such a low risk of it being cancerous, Ava’s mom could have fought an entirely different battle.

“When the doctors confirmed the diagnosis, it was at stage zero,” Wingenbach said.

Wingenbach’s mom is very private, and this topic makes her vulnerable to Ava and her older brother.

“Growing up, my mom never cried in front of us and always seemed super strong, so I think being vulnerable about the cancer was hard for her,” Wingenbach said.

“My family and I obviously did our best to support her, but it was more of a silent support system, rather than doing things for her and being there for her to talk to. We were always there to listen, but I think talking about it made it harder on her.”

When a loved one goes through something as scary and deadly as cancer, DaVault thinks it is essential to have a support system.

Freshman Cole DaVault’s mother had breast cancer as well. DaVault was able to form a support group with his friends and their families.

“Talking to friends that understood what I was going through really helped me a lot. It was cool that their parents were always there to listen and pick me up when I needed a ride,” DaVault said.

Wingenbach agreed that it was important to have someone that just wanted to listen.

“Talking to my friends helped take the weight of dealing with it alone off my shoulders,” Wingenbach said.

Wingenbach thinks people can pretend how they are feeling at school which could be different from who they are at home.

“It is super cliché, but so true, you seriously do not know what people are going through,” Wingenbach said.

Sometimes it is more comfortable to forget about hard situations, so it is easier to act unphased.

“I think it was easier to pretend my mom wasn’t sick while I was at school. It made me forget about it,” DaVault said.

Health teacher Christine Hohlt is in charge of the annual “Pink Out” football game, along with various events to shine a light on all kinds of cancer awareness.

“I have not just had one person affected by cancer, but 100’s of famil[ies], friends, co-workers, students, and coaches affected by some form of cancer,” Hohlt said.

Hohlt has been involved with cancer events for the past 15 years to spread awareness of all types of cancer.

“[I spread awareness] by getting involved in events, making signs, and making all colored bracelets, and other types of jewelry,” Hohlt said.