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Bunco for breast cancer brings out the funds

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By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

It was fun and games at DreamDinners in Lakeland Hills Thursday evening for a very good cause.

Julie Hermanson organized a bunco game to raise funds for breast cancer. The event raised $850.

Hermanson owns the DreamDinners franchise at 1410 Lake Tapps Pkwy. She said since the DreamDinners Inc. joined Athena Water to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, she wanted to organize a local fundraising event.

“We came up with a bunco game,” Hermanson said. “Then we found bunco for Breast Cancer on the Web, a national breast cancer research foundation.”

According to Hermanson, all funds from the evening will be donated to the foundation.

Hermanson said she sent e-mails to her customers and 24 participants signed up right away.

“I provided food, drinks and gift certificates,” Hermanson said, “and each person contributed $25 to participate and many contributed more money to the cause.”

Angie Davenport, a breast cancer survivor, sold bracelets for the cause and played plenty of bunco.

Hermanson wanted to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month because she knew survivors like Davenport and she lost a close friend, Patti Schille, six months ago.

“Patti fought hard for a long time,” Hermanson said. “I used to be a dental hygienist and she was my patient and my friend.”

The following are breast cancer facts from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

€ This year more than 211,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected in the United States.

€ One woman in eight who lives to age 85 will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

€ Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 55.

€ 1,600 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 400 are predicted to die.

€ Not all lumps are detectable by touch - 70 percent of all breast cancers are found through breast self-exams. The foundation suggests regular mammograms and monthly breast self-exams.

€ If a lump is found, don't panic - call a doctor for an appointment. Eight out of ten breast lumps are not cancerous.

€ Mammography is a low-dose X-ray examination that can detect breast cancer up to two years before it is large enough to be felt.

€ When breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is 96 percent. This is good news. Over 2 million breast cancer survivors are alive in America today.

An early breast cancer detection plan should include:

€ Clinical breast examinations every three years from ages 20-39, then every year thereafter;

€ Monthly breast self-examinations beginning at age 20. Look for any changes in your breasts;

€ A baseline mammogram by the age of 40;

€ A mammogram every one to two years for women 40-49, depending on previous findings;

€ A mammogram every year for women 50 and older;

€ A personal calendar to record your self-exams, mammograms, and doctor appointments;

€ A low-fat diet, regular exercise and no smoking or drinking.

For more information concerning breast cancer go to The Courier-Herald Web site, www.courierherald.com, for links to the National Breast Cancer Foundation and other breast cancer awareness sites on the Web.

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com.

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