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Be Pink: Sharing Hope and Outreach Within the Community

The Park Nicollet Foundation has taken breast cancer awareness to the community with the Mammo a-go-go Program.

Even though October is Breast Cancer Awareness month—awareness, screenings, and funds to help fight this deadly disease are necessary year-round. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 264,000 women in the US are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and 42,000 women die from the disease. Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. Women from every walk of life are at risk, and every woman should begin getting routine mammogram screenings beginning at age 50. 

Giving women access to these lifesaving screenings is often half the battle in early diagnosis, which leads to better outcomes. However, not all women have the same access to these screenings. The Park Nicollet Foundation noticed a need in the community and launched an annual fundraising campaign to support the Park Nicollet Jane Brattain Breast Cancer mobile Mammo a-go-go Community Outreach Program. “Since the 2014 inception of the first Mammo-a-go-go truck, there are now two trucks, and the outreach program has hosted nearly 600 community events and over 10,500 women have received mammography screenings,” said Kim Cassens, the Be Pink Committee Chair and Board Chair for Park Nicollet Foundation. 

The program is named after Jane Brattain, a two-time breast cancer survivor and long-time donor of the foundation. Jane and her husband, Don, had donated money to purchase a state-of-the-art biopsy machine as a way to non-invasively screen for cancer. Jane was the first one to use the new screening machine, and she now continues to share her passion for early detection throughout the state.

How does it work?

The Mammo a-go-go program partners with local non-profit organizations and community groups to not only provide screenings, but also breast health education and follow-up services. Additionally, if an interpreter is needed in any of the communities, that is provided as well. The goal is to support as many women as possible throughout Minnesota, regardless of income. “It brings awareness, accessible lifesaving no-fee mammography screenings, interpretive services, follow-up diagnostic services and breaks down barriers by bringing these services to these communities in a place they can trust,” said Kim. Often, minority communities and immigrants face barriers in accessing these services, such as insurance, income, or transportation. By helping to bridge the gap within these communities, breast cancer mortality can decrease, and education can become accessible.

How can you help?

The foundation kicked off its big October fundraiser in late September with a Be Pink fundraising breakfast. “The 2022 fundraising goal is $200,000,” said Kim. “Anyone can get involved in several different ways: donating directly to the Be Pink website or calling the Park Nicollet Foundation office, volunteering for the Be Pink Committee, or becoming a Pink Raiser to raise awareness within your own circle of influence and collaboratively to raise funds.” 

Donations to support the Be Pink Campaign are welcome anytime throughout the year. Visit for the foundation’s fundraising page and more information.