October was designated as breast cancer awareness month in 1985.

Former First Lady Betty Ford and her daughter helped kick-off the first week-long awareness.

In Kosciusko County, there are a few events or programs occurring during the month of October to bring awareness to breast cancer.

Kosciusko Community Hospital, Warsaw, will sponsor two events and has t-shirts employees can buy this month.

“Our planned events in October place a focus on the  importance of prevention while congruently honoring community members who have been diagnosed with cancer. We want to show our support for them as an organization dedicated to community health improvement,” said  Kim Finch, CNO at Kosciusko Community Hospital.

The first event is the Freaky 5K Run/Walk.

“We are partnering with the Cancer Care Fund of Kosciusko County to present the annual Freaky 5K that will take place this year on  Oct. 26,” said Joy Lohse, director of marketing and public relations. Those wishing to participate can register online or register on site  between 7:30 and 9 a.m.

The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. and all proceeds benefit the Cancer Care Fund which assists local patients who are diagnosed with cancer, Lohse said.

The second event Kosciusko County Hospital will be sponsoring is a Spook-takular breakfast for its cancer center patients.

 The breakfast  will be from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Oct. 26.

“This is a special recognition where we are inviting  KCH Cancer Center  patients and a guest to come to the cancer center, enjoy breakfast – and patients can dress in Halloween attire if in the festive mood,” Lohse said.

KCH also created t-shirts for breast cancer awareness month.

“Our employees are wearing ‘GO PINK’ t-shirts  throughout all hospital departments, physicians’ offices and MedStat,” said Lohse.

Employees at the hospital  purchased shirts to wear during the month of October. $5 per shirt will be donated to the Cancer Care Fund of Kosciusko County on behalf the employees.

A total of $2,035 will be donated to the fund as 407 shirts were ordered, Lohse said.

While Parkview Health does not have any particular event in October designated for breast cancer awareness, the hospital did give free mammograms during First Friday and has had some education programs in the past, said Andrea Sullivan, marketing and community relations specialist.

Both hospitals do have opportunities for women to have 3D mammograms.

“Our medical team at Kosciusko Community Hospital encourages women to take an active role in their health and take care of themselves every day. The American Cancer Society recommends mammography screening for women starting at age 45. A 3D mammogram is a part of a health prevention plan for women age 45 or older to detect cancer at its earliest stage when we can most successfully treat it,” said Finch.

Parkview has 3-D mammography and encourages women to call about it, Sullivan said. Women always get a flower after their screenings.

Also, Parkview gives money to Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography, which is a not-for-profit renovated motor coach, Sullivan said.

According to Francine’s Friends website, all women over 35 are welcome and screening mammography through Francine’s Friends is available for women who have not had a mammogram in the past 12 months, have no prior or current history of breast cancer or problems with their breasts and are insured or uninsured.

Sullivan said the Francine’s Friends Mobile Mammography travels and services this area.

According to the website, there are no dates in October in Kosciusko County. However, the mobile mammography will be at Brandt’s Harley Davidson, 1400 Cass St., Wabash,  on Nov. 2, as well as Parkview Physician Group, 1104 N. Wayne St., North Manchester, on Nov. 12.

To schedule a visit at the mobile mammography, call 260-266-9180.

Also, throughout the state, a speciality license plate is available for purchase through the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The speciality plates, introduced in 2002, are sold by Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust.

“Each license plate sold generates a $25 donation, which furthers IBCAT’s mission to increase awareness and improve access to breast cancer screening, diagnosis and support services throughout Indiana,” said a press release about the plates. So far, the organization has raised $608,000.

Sales of the Breast Cancer Awareness specialty plate also fund thousands of dollars in scholarships for students whose families have been impacted by breast cancer. The scholarship application is available in December/January of each year with a deadline in late January to early February, according to the press release.