The Lufkin Daily News is partnering with the East Texas Cancer Alliance of Hope to raise funds for breast cancer awareness.

“I believe almost all of us know someone in our lives who has been touched by breast cancer or cancer in general,” said Tammy Kedrowicz, advertising director. “October has always been the month to recognize breast cancer awareness, and we wanted to honor those who have fought — the survivors and the ones we have lost.”

Any advertisements focused on breast cancer awareness or honoring breast cancer patients and survivors during the month of October will be discounted, and 20% of the sales will be donated to the East Texas Cancer Alliance of Hope.

In previous years, the American Cancer Society had a “Look Good, Feel Good” program that provided wigs, scarves, comfort pillows and more to local cancer patients free of charge. However, the program was discontinued.

Ashley Berry, founder of the East Texas Cancer Alliance of Hope, wishes to create a similar program after she received requests for those services.

“More than anything, it’s about the individual, and we want people to feel good, to look good while they’re going through treatment,” Berry said. “Cancer can have a negative effect on people and how they see themselves. Keeping people looking and feeling as normal as possible is important.”

During her own battle with cancer, Berry had a moment where she was determined to never look like she had cancer. Now she sees that it is an important part of the healing process.

“When I look in the mirror consistently and I see a frail, weak body, then my mindset is I’m weak,” she said. “But if I look in the mirror and I can feel good about how I look, then for the cancer patient that is a plus because it’s motivation to continue moving on, despite what is happening.”

Berry commended the community for showing up during October in support of breast cancer awareness.

“I think it speaks volumes about our community,” she said. “We show up for each other, and I think that’s great.”

Pictures of local people will be displayed with titles of “in memory of,” “fighting the battle” or “survivor” in the Sunday paper on Oct. 27, sponsored by CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial.

Both of Kedrowicz’s parents have cancer, and she has known many people affected by all types of cancers. She said it is incredibly important to encourage everyone to take advantage of modern medicine and catch cancer as early as possible to increase chances of survival.

“I think it’s important to, especially with breast cancer, make sure you get your mammogram, get checked out, don’t ignore the signs, don’t put it off, don’t wait until the last minute,” she said. “You may not want to know the results, but the faster you get the results, you can do something about it.”

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.