Today, we’re talking about the sensitive topic of breast cancer and the important of knowing your breast cancer risk. Ella is also sharing a beautiful DIY Breast Cancer Awareness charm that she made to support her friend during his mother’s diagnosis.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Henry Ford Cancer Institute. All opinions are 100% mine.
Know Your Risk of Breast Cancer
We have all been touched by breast cancer.
1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.
My grandmother had breast cancer, a cousin just had what we hope is her final chemotherapy treatment, and one of Ella’s best friends just found his mom has breast cancer.
It’s something that we can feel quite powerless about since breast cancer can strike anyone (and your risk is greater if a relative has a history of breast or ovarian cancer). I’ve recently found myself really concerned and overwhelmed, having friends and family my own age be diagnosed with breast cancer.
When the Henry Ford Cancer Institute reached out to me to have me promote their free online Breast Cancer Risk Assessment, I was happy to spread the word and encourage women to take control of their breast health.
I had no idea how it was going to affect me or the life changes that it was going to bring.
I already knew that I had risk factors due to my family history, but I didn’t realize that having taken low-hormone birth control to control my period when I was younger, gaining weight after my daughter’s birth and falling off with my exercise routine also increased my risk of developing breast cancer.
It was a shock.
I’ve been putting off taking better care of myself until work calms down, or the house renovations are done, etc etc. But the survey questions brought my reality to light: by not taking care of the things that I can, I am increasing my risk for breast cancer. And since I’m already high risk due to my genetics, that’s not something I can afford to do.
The first thing I did was call my doctor’s office and book an appointment to be evaluated. I plan to bring my personalized report in with me as a starting point.
The next thing I did? I cleared all of the renovation materials out of my dining room so that I could get back to exercising and signed up for a 28 day dance-based workout program that I could do from home.
(Because if it’s fun exercise, I’m more likely to stick with it!)
It was the motivation I needed to get back to exercising, and I already feel so awesome about taking the initiative and looking forward to pulling those “pre-baby” clothes out of storage. I’m not aiming for perfection, but even 3 work-outs a week is 3 more than I was doing before!
This small change reduces my risk of developing breast cancer, and if there is anything I can do to reduce that risk – I’m going to do it. Of course, I could still develop breast cancer despite making the healthiest lifestyle changes, so being aware of my risk level and doing regular breast examinations are also incredibly important.
I know it may seem intimidating, but I highly encourage you to take three minutes and fill out the assessment. The personalized report is generated immediately so there is no worrisome waiting.
If there are any concerns, you can print off the report and bring it to your family doctor or visit Henry Ford Mammography and Breast Screening to schedule your mammogram at one of their mammography locations throughout Southeast and South Central Michigan
Breast Cancer Awareness Craft
As for the recent news that one of Ella’s best friend’s mom has been diagnosed with breast cancer, we decided to make something for their group of friends to show their support.
All of the kids are obsessed with adding keychains on their backpacks so I suggested we make some breast cancer ribbon-inspired perler bead charms.
These were simple enough for Ella to complete mostly on her own. Getting the charm on the keychain involved a bit more finger strength than she had and I’m not ready for her to handle a clothing iron, but those were quick 30-second tasks that I was happy to step in for and didn’t take away from her having made these.
Breast Cancer Ribbon Perler Bead Craft Materials
- 62 pink perler beads per keychain
- Keychain (plus jump beads to connect)
- Perler bead board
- Clothing iron
- Parchment or wax paper
How to Make a Breast Cancer Ribbon Keychain
Assemble your beads in a breast cancer ribbon shape on your peg board (as shown):
Once the beads are assembled, place a square of parchment paper over the design, covering it completely.
Using an iron set to the cotton setting (highest temperature), iron over the parchment paper for 15 seconds until the beads are fused together.
Allow the beads to cool before removing the parchment paper and then the formed charm from the pegboard.
Use a needle to punch a hole through where you want your keychain to loop through.
Use pliers to secure the jump ring through the hole, then add the keychain. Use the pliers to close the jump ring securely.
Secure your breast cancer perler bead charm to your backpack or keys.
Pin this Breast Cancer Backpack Charm:
For more information on breast cancer screening, read When to Get a Mammogram and How to Prepare Mentally & Physically for a Mammogram.