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Pink Patch Project raises awareness, funds for breast cancer patients

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 6:23 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - A Kearney organization is teaming up with local law enforcement to raise money and awareness to support those diagnosed with breast cancer.

People can purchase pink patches for $10 from the Hastings, Kearney and UNK Police Departments, as well as the Buffalo County Sheriff’s Office and Nebraska State Patrol. The money raised will go to the Forever Pink Foundation to help breast cancer patients in the Tri-Cities and surrounding areas.

“Breast cancer patients can apply for grants from us," said Tanya Wegner, Forever Pink Foundation. "We’ve given over $19,000 just in the last year and a half. They can apply for everything from medical expenses insurance hasn’t covered, rent, utilities - anything that they might need.”

Wegner started the Forever Pink Foundation with friends in November 2018 after battling breast cancer herself.

“I didn’t think it was going to be me," Wegner said.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2018 after discovering a lump at an annual appointment. Wegner said she had to get a diagnostic mammogram, which insurance didn’t cover. The test ended up costing her about $2,000 out of pocket.

Following a lumpectomy and radiation, Wegner has been in remission for two years.

The experience prompted her to start the Forever Pink Foundation.

“Especially during this year, COVID’s taken such a hard hit on everybody that we’re trying to just help a little bit with that financial stress," Wagner said. "Each patient, you’re having at least a $8,000 to $12,000 hit. That’s pretty big when you’re coming out of your pocket.”

Last year, agencies raised more than $4,000 through the Pink Patch Project.

Law enforcement will sport the patches on their sleeves in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

People can purchase the pink patches at the Hastings Police Department and Law Enforcement Center in Kearney. KPD will have their own patches, as well as the patches with BCSO, UNK and NSP. There are also t-shirts, neck gaiters and face masks available at HyVee and Saylor Screen-printing to support the cause.

On Oct. 17, the Forever Pink Foundation is hosting a Steps of Support for Breast Cancer Walk. It starts at 10 a.m. at Yanney Park. People can call 308-293-6025 to register.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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