As part of our breast cancer awareness program "Buddy Check Ten" we encourage women to do monthly breast self exams. Missy Pointer and Karen Larabee started the program more than a year ago and for Missy it's proved to be potentially life saving.
Best friends Missy and Karen are always up for learning something new together.
"We've worked concession stands together, go to Sam's together, we've gone to church together, done Vacation Bible School, " explained Karen.
Another thing they do together is the Buddy Check Ten program.
"I just grabbed two packets and said 'here we are going to be buddies'" said Karen.
Last October, like clock work Missy and Karen exchanged their monthly reminders.
"I did my check and I felt a lump," said Missy.
Missy's worst fear was realized. She had stage one breast cancer, but she caught it early.
In the seven months since, Missy has made daily visit for six weeks for her radiation treatment. Before that she had surgery and chemo. She credits Buddy Check and her monthly breast self exams for saving her life.
Karen said accountability is the difference.
"When you look someone in the eye to say 'yes I did' or 'no I didn't do my check' it makes you want to because you don't want to let that person down," said Karen.
After hearing their story Karen and Missy hope all women will do the same.
If you would like a free Buddy Check Ten packet, call Mercy Health Partners at 632-5200. The packet includes information on how to correctly do a breast check.