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KLEW Community Hero: Local woman works to raise awareness for breast cancer

COM HERO_ ERIKA MEE.jpg

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this installment of KLEW Community Heroes is about a woman, working to empower others, and spread awareness for breast cancer, and early detection.

Erika Mee started a project in April. It was a simple idea croqueting hats. "My mom had breast cancer,” Erika explain, “I just had the idea that I wanted to raise awareness."

Erika spends hours, and her own money, making pink hats.

She gives them to others in the hopes of raising awareness for breast cancer and early detection.

“The goal was I'm going to make 100 hats. “She started by making hats for her co-workers at royal plaza,” she said. "I thought, you know what, I'm going to make them for the staff first, and if I have any left I'd like to get them out to the community."

From that point her little hat project took on a big meaning. "It makes me feel really good, we've had Hewitt Construction wearing hats, LC Valley Concrete, all the staff at royal plaza. It really, really touched my heart,” Erika said.

For Erika, this is more than just making hats, what makes this so close to her heart, is her own personal battle. "I've been a breast cancer survivor now for eight years."

Even though her mom had breast cancer, Erika never thought it would happen to her. "Who's to think that you're going to get diagnosed with breast cancer at 41, or 42 years old. You don't know,” she said.

After her diagnosis she started treatment. "I had a left mastectomy, it couldn't be a lumpectomy, and you know, it's such a process after that. Anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, when you go into the doctor it's a process, you got to do this, now you got to do this. But it was all right."

She turned her battle with cancer, into a mission to help others. "If I can get 100 hats into the community, maybe that would get that one person that might think like I did when I turned 40, and to go get that early detection, that would be wonderful,” She said.

Now she looks at the posts on Facebook, and all the people wearing her hats, and she knows it's all been worth it. "Just from croqueting a hat, if that's all it takes to raise awareness then that's awesome. Makes me feel really nice, makes me feel good."

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