BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Breast Cancer affects well over 200,000 women in the U.S. To recognize this, raise awareness, and honor this month for being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Beckley VA Medical Center and the Women’s program they offer are encouraging women everywhere to take a walk.
“We are hosting a walk today, it’s a little different this year because of Covid restrictions, trying to space people out, so we can’t actually invite the public to come on campus,” says Sara Yoke, the Public Affairs Officer for VAMC. “There’s not a designated time we’re asking people to walk, but as you do, just be thinking about Breast Cancer and what that means.”
Sherri Burleson is a Clinical Care Coordinator for the Mental Health Department at the VA, but she is also a Breast Cancer survivor.
After being diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer in 2013, Sherri went and got treated and now, she is setting an example for other women to seek screenings, treatment, and support against the disease.
“As a nurse, it’s my responsibility to encourage breast exams and mammograms, but as a survivor and as a woman, it just makes it that much more meaningful to me,” Sherri says.
Women are following the examples of Breast Cancer survivors, like Sherri, and are starting to beat the disease before it can even begin by staying informed, doing self-exams, and getting regular check-ups and mammograms.
Beyond just raising awareness of Breast Cancer during the national month, the VA Medical Center is looking to expand its women’s program to better provide support for women’s breast health.
“Women veterans are actually the quickest growing veteran demographic, we’re really trying here at the Beckley VA Medical Center to expand our women’s healthcare offerings and are encouraging women to enroll in the VA,” says Yoke. “So, Breast Cancer awareness is just part of women’s healthcare and it’s really crucial.”
For more information about the Women’s Program the VA Medical Center offers, you can visit beckley.va.gov and look for Women’s Veteran services.