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NEWS | Sept. 28, 2016

Uplifting event provides breast cancer awareness

By Airman 1st Class Kaylee Dubois 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. However, due to better treatment options, there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors thriving in the U.S. today.


Since the month of October is dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness, hosting a fundraiser, organizing a bake sale or running for a loved one in an awareness run are all common events. One of the events comes with a unique twist.


The Fill the Bra Campaign is an uplifting event where people are asked to decorate an original bra which are placed on display and voted on by the local community. Donations and funded votes go to help those with breast cancer who are not insured or underinsured.


The campaign provides a light-hearted approach to the cause, bringing everyone together in a creative way,” said Wendy Elvis, 633rd Medical Group lead mammography technologist and fill the bra campaign participant. “It’s a community event; we are all members of the community and our military members are fortunate enough to have provided healthcare. However, there are members of our community that don’t have insurance or are underinsured. This event raises money for those members.”


According to Jamie Radik, 633rd Medical Group mammography technologist and fill the bra campaign participant, along with raising money, the campaign educates women who are nervous about getting mammograms. The more women perform self-breast exams and mammograms on a regular basis, the earlier breast cancer can be caught which increases the chance of survival.


Breast cancer incidence rates have decreased since 2000, partly due to earlier screening and better treatment, but also with an increase in awareness, said Radik.


Both technologists in the mammography department at U.S. Air Force Hospital Langley, Elvis and Radik were inspired by the Air Force motto, ‘Fly. Fight. Win.’ when decorating their bra for the campaign.


“To fly, to soar, to fight the disease with everything you have and to ultimately win against it,” said Elvis. “We felt the need to represent our military for what they give to our community, so we wanted to do something patriotic, military and of course, Air Force.”


To help raise awareness for breast cancer and to support the cause, visit the MacArthur Mall in Norfolk, Va., during October to see the original bras on display or visit for more information.