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Why cancer under 40? We get that question a lot and there is a reason. When you look at the stats, only 1 in 8 women diagnosed with breast cancer are under the age of 40, so why are we did we choose that age?

Since our first tournament in 2008 we’ve been helping younger women. Our reasoning for this is because few organizations are there to support this age group or to even raise awareness at this age.

One reason is expenses. The families we choose have a financial need. Many women that are 40 and under tend to still be developing their careers. Some of our recipients are fresh out of school. Paying medical bills, along with the cost of daily life can be overwhelming. They end up depending on family and friends to make ends meet. We want to help relieve some of that burden so they can concentrate on getting better, not paying the bills.

Another reason is support. Many of our recipients have told us stories about their experience with other support groups. They rarely connect with the women in the groups because they are at different places in life. Many are single or newly married. Their support group is family and friends. They may not have a spouse to lean on. They deal with terrifying thoughts of physical changes from mastectomies and the possibility of never having kids due to treatments. Since they are younger they deal with a higher chance of re-lapse or other cancers. We want them to know we understand what they are going through and that we are there for them to lean upon when they need some comfort.

Finally there’s awareness. This honestly is one of the most important things we do. Younger women, especially those in their 20’s tend to ignore signs because of the thought that they are too young to have breast cancer. The invincibility of youth idea may cause them to ignore the initial signs. This thought process allows the cancer to grow and develop into a higher stage which means it’s harder to treat. Our goal is to make sure women are vigilant of the early signs of breast cancer and not to ignore signs.