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  • Writer's pictureBig Sky Public Relations

Taking care of our own - Halt Cancer at X

The Big C is touching more lives today than ever before.

These days it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been impacted by cancer — whether it was a family member, friend or even themselves who battled the disease. One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime — a staggering statistic with real-world implications.

In the Flathead Valley, we’re fortunate to have a number of organizations working to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and survivors right in our backyard.

They fill in the financial gaps that medical insurance doesn’t cover so working moms can put food on the table and make their car payment, all while fighting cancer. They take women on restorative experiences in nature where they can just be, even for a weekend. They fund screening mammograms and genetic testing for at-risk women and help educate women of all backgrounds about the things they can do to reduce their risks and stay informed.

We all hope for a cure, but until one arrives, we have to take care of our own.

That’s exactly what the mission of Halt Cancer at X is — a local initiative that raises thousands of dollars each year for national research and regional support services. This year, Halt Cancer handed out $47,200 in grants to community organizations to make that good work possible. Since it was founded in 2012, Halt Cancer has donated more than $222,000 locally and $320,000 to national, cutting-edge research. Those are big numbers for a big cause, but it all started small, with one woman — Sarah Broussard.

Most know Sarah as the organizer of the equine triathlon, The Event at Rebecca Farm. But she also lost her mother, Rebecca “Becky” Broussard to breast cancer in 2010 and founded Halt Cancer at X in her memory.

On Oct. 25, the 2018 Halt Cancer at X Community Grant Celebration was held at Becky’s namesake building on the Flathead Valley Community College campus to distribute this year’s local grant dollars.

In attendance were representatives from the four wining organizations, but also program participants who actually felt the direct impact of these fundraising dollars. A handful of them took the podium to share their stories. They talked about losing loved ones to a disease and then having to battle it themselves; they talked about what it meant to find a community in a group of women going though the same disease, and what it meant to see patients stress less about bills thanks to a helping hand.

Then came the fun part.

But it wasn’t massive cardboard she was giving away — it was evidence that the community truly cared. The largest portion of Halt Cancer at X dollars are raised from the community — and that’s exactly where they’re returned to.

We may have our differences, but when it comes to the things that really matter — health and family — the Valley comes together.

Halt Cancer at X is about more than money.

It’s about hope.

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