Paint the town pink

LIHUE — More than two dozen people turned a lunchtime walk on Wednesday into a crusade spreading awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection.

“Mango has a service dog jacket, but we almost missed the walk so she’s not wearing the jacket,” said Alice Parker, who along with Jacquelyn Ramos, joined the tail end of the walk with Mango, Parker’s service animal.

Early detection of breast cancer is the best protection, said Virgina Beck, co-chair of the “Paint the Town Pink” breast cancer awareness walk. This is the goal of the free examinations — cancer found early can be survived.

Sydney Ito, a student at the Koloa Elementary School, joined her mother Joni in helping distribute literature and other items being sold as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.

“Sydney was with the class who created Valentine’s cards for cancer survivors,” said Patti Ornellas, Kauai ACS director. “The cards were distributed during the recent Relay for Life events and survivors were thrilled to receive them. Some even wrote the office saying the cards were the first Valentine’s cards they ever received.”

The walk, warmed up by a workout with Bev Brody of Get Fit Kauai, was hosted by the Kauai Committee on the Status of Women in recognition of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual international health campaign promoted by major cancer organizations.

The Kauai Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Project is offering free Well Woman exam, pap test, and mammograms to eligible women.

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