Helping Works

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Forever Fighters come together; businesses help with funding

Dr. Alana Welm will discuss her research into how cancer metastasizes and more at the Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference on  Tuesday, Oct. 30.
Dr. Alana Welm will discuss her research into how cancer metastasizes and more at the Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 30. Courtesy of Huntsman Cancer Institute

Breast cancer is a stranger to no one.

Whether someone has received a recent diagnosis, has a friend fighting it or had a loved one who succumbed to it, the disease affects us all.

And in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are reminded about the importance of increasing awareness of the disease, raising funds for research and educating people about early testing.

It is estimated that more than 1,000 Idahoans and Montanans currently live with a stage IV or metastatic breast cancer (MBC), which is cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other parts of the body.

Men and women with this diagnosis are battling the disease for the rest of their lives; hence the term Forever Fighter is used to honor these individuals.

To learn about the latest research into cancer treatment, clinical trials and self-care, the Idaho Montana Affiliate of Susan G. Komen is offering an event for Idahoans and Montanans living with MBC.

The Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Hampton Inn & Suites Boise/Meridian, 875 S. Allen St., Meridian.

The keynote address, “Breakthroughs in Breast Cancer Treatment,” will be presented by Huntsman Cancer Institute Research and Komen Scholar Alana Welm, Ph.D.

Hear about her research into how cancer metastasizes and the possible use of the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

There will also be additional guest speakers, a panel discussion, lunch and a light dinner.

“Our goal with this conference is to bring together those living with metastatic breast cancer — no matter where in Idaho or Montana they live,” explains Jodi Weak, Executive Director of Komen Idaho Montana.

For those living with MBC in such areas, the rural nature of their lives exacerbates MBC challenges, including feelings of isolation, fear and loneliness.

Therefore, the conference offers a place for cancer patients to assemble for an uplifting, educational experience.

Conference sessions and meals are free to attendees, and travel expenses are covered for those living outside the Boise area.

Each attendee living with this condition is welcome to bring a guest — be it a caregiver, partner, family member or friend.

For those unable to attend in person, the conference will be professionally live streamed at

Fleet Feet fights breast cancer

Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Fleet Feet Meridian will sell a Project Zero edition of Mizuno’s Waveknit R2 running shoe and donate a portion of proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Then show off your new limited-edition kicks at the Project Zero Color (Fun) Run 5k on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Fleet Feet Meridian, 3573 E. Longwing Lane, Suite 105.

Runners will get “pinked” at the halfway point, and end the run with pink drinks and a raffle prize.

There is no cost. RSVP at

Dutch Bros’ cancer campaign

Dutch Bros Coffee is launching its annual #BeAware campaign in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For each custom “Be Aware” travel mug ($24) sold throughout October, Dutch Bros will donate $10 to the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and Albie Aware.

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute in Portland is an international leader in research and cancer treatment. The institute is building upon its expertise in targeted treatments to advance the early detection of cancer when the disease is most treatable.

Albie Aware assists individuals in the Sacramento, Calif., area facing or fighting breast cancer by providing life-saving diagnostic testing, patient advocacy, prevention education and compassionate support.

Dutch Bros began raising funds for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in 2013. To date, the company has donated more than $970,000 to the advancement of breast cancer research.

To find a Dutch Bros location near you, visit

Michelle Jenkins: 208-377-6451