The Student Wellness Center raised over $60 for breast cancer awareness, before their Bras Across the Bridge event was cancelled. They also received 104 bras, according to Mary Anschutz, director of Student Wellness.

The event was cancelled due to rain, but they are continuing to accept money and bras, which will be going to Abundant Harvest to be donated to those who need them.

“We want people to be aware of the things you can do such as breast self-exams because early detection is what saves lives,” Anschutz said.

Informational resources that explain the process for breast exams are available in the Student Wellness Center.

Melanie Curtis, an Emporia community member and survivor of breast cancer, was scheduled to speak at the cancelled event.

“I had gone in for my yearly physical in 2016,” said Curtis. “My doctor thought she had felt something unusual in my left breast and wanted me to go get it checked out, especially since I’m adopted and didn’t have any family history to know of. The radiologist found another spot that was concerning which turned out to be a very aggressive form of cancer. Had it not been found when it was I would probably not be here today.”

After her initial diagnosis, Curtis began a long process of treatment and recovery.

“My oncologists name was Cinderella, that was her real name,” said Curtis. “So when it came time to tell my girls who were six and eight at the time, it made things a little less scary to know that Cinderella was taking care of mom.”

As a teacher at William Allen White elementary school, Curtis received her diagnosis at the beginning of summer break. Her family, school and coworkers were very supportive, according to Curtis.

“I knew that this was just going to be a bump in the road and eventually it would be in the past,” said Curtis. I kept working the whole time (of her 16-week chemo treatment)."

Now that her chemotherapy and radiation treatment is finished she continues to take oral medicine and goes in for yearly checkups. Breast cancer is among the most detectable and preventable forms of cancer.

“Having issues discovered early could be the difference between life and death,” Curtis said.

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