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More than a badge: Recognizing breast reconstruction awareness

Pink police badges create additional recognition for breast reconstruction awareness day ahead of Oct. 18
Posted at 3:28 AM, Oct 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 04:28:47-04
  • The pink badges seen on some Green Bay Police Department officers also symbolize Breast Reconstruction Awareness.
  • Insurance plans are required to cover breast reconstruction costs of all breast cancer patients.
  • Video shows how Green Bay police and BayCare Clinic heighten awareness for breast reconstruction. Breast Reconstruction Awareness day is Wednesday Oct. 18.

On Monday, NBC 26 highlighted what the Green Bay Police Department is doing for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The pink badges some officers will be wearing also symbolize Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day which will be recognized on Wednesday.

Lieutenant Steve Mahoney spoke on Monday about the pink badges inspired by his wife, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014.

"When I wear the badge out and about, when people see that and ask, I have no problem telling the personal story of my wife and I with the hopes that if I could get one or two to go in and get checked," Lieutenant Mahoney said. "Whether it's October or any other month, just go get checked out."

Lieutenant Mahoney adds something else the community should be aware of.

"Besides being breast cancer awareness locally, they also do breast reconstruction awareness," Lieutenant Mahoney said. "A lot of people worry about the cost, and to realize that, yes, you might have to pay your deductible, but you're not going to be paying 20, 30, $40,000 to make you feel whole again."

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, insurance companies are required to cover breast reconstruction for cancer patients.

In recognizing breast reconstruction awareness, Jessica Winkel, Business Development Manager at BayCare Clinic, spoke exclusively with NBC 26 prior to the Bras of the Bay event on Oct. 12.

"Patients generally just want to feel like the person they were the day before they got diagnosed with breast cancer," Winkel said. "One of the things we always say the clinic is reconstruction, might not be right for everybody, but everybody should know their rights."

The Green Bay Police Department constructed its own bra in the design competition which featured the pink badge.

Statistics from the National Breast Cancer Foundation find that one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime.

The average age of women in the U.S. diagnosed with breast cancer is 62 years old, but 64 percent of those cases are diagnosed in the early stages, which can make it easier to treat.

Winkel said that this year's Bras of the Bay event featured a record 50 bra entries. She said they look forward to its 10th annual event in 2024.