Buddy Check 3: Empowering teens one conversation at a time

Buddy Check 3

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Three years ago, I started educating high school girls about paying attention to their breast health.

While getting breast cancer as a teenager is rare, it’s never too early to start the conversation about self-examination.

In October, I got some inspiring survivors and health professionals to join my Pink Conversation with high school girls.

“Know your body. Check your body. Feel your breasts,” Sylvia Jenkins, a breast cancer survivor, encouraged a group of Effingham County teens. “Don’t pass it up like I did, saying it was deodorant, irritation from deodorant.”

Some of the Top Teens of America Chapter in Effingham County and South Effingham High School cheerleaders were among the group, eager and energetic to learn.

“I think it’s very important to check yourself to make sure if there’s any signs of breast cancer like early evaluations, and just to take safety precautions,” said Leah Edwards, of Top Teens and SEH.

Liz Hotz, with Coastal Carolina Hospital, explained the self-exam process.

“You work clockwise, going from the center out, and go all the way around clockwise around the breast,” Hotz said. “You can get a thorough exam — and you just feel out. See if anything feels any different.”

I also stopped at Bradwell Institute to meet with some smart and thriving young athletes.

Survivor Victoria Allen joined me, sharing her touching journey.

“I do get emotional when I talk about this,” Allen said. “I want y’all to know because it’s an emotional moment before me to know that I can still stand here today and talk to you all.”

“Learning more about what she went through was really heart-wrenching,” said Mary Gamble at Bradwell Institute.

Sometimes it’s the darkest moments that lead to inspiration and awareness. Survivor and mammography tech Anita White is a prime example, as she teaches techniques for breast exams.

“I never knew how to actually check and how to take precaution,” said Bradwell Institute student Baily Gilmore. “So now that I know I’m definitely gonna try to emphasize that more.”

Both groups left with some promising information that will support them for the rest of their lives.

“I want to give them a standing ovation and tell them thank you for all the help and letting me know that it is available,” she said.

WSAV News 3 is On Your Side with Buddy Check 3 every third of the month to remind you and your buddies to complete your breast self-exams.

Click or tap here to learn more about the program.

If you have any questions or concerns about breast health, call the SJ/C Lewis Cancer and Research Pavilion at 912-819-7053.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories