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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Cancer survivor Hager-Olsen tells Pirate volleyball players to think beyond just pink

  • Team hosting 'Dig Pink' event at Oct. 8 game against Climax-Fisher in Crookston.
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  •     Instead of just wearing pink shoe laces and t-shirts in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, the Crookston Pirate volleyball team thought it would be important to learn a little more about the disease and how it can be detected at an early stage. Following a recent practice, the volleyball team and their moms were enlightened by Barb Hager-Olsen and her daughter, Sarah, both of whom touched on Barb's journey with breast cancer.  
        Barb is a 6-year survivor of breast cancer, and is open and willing to talk about the importance of girls taking care of their bodies. "I cannot stress the importance of self exams and mammograms," said Barb. She also spoke on how it's important for young women to stick to a clean, healthy diet.
        Along with staying healthy and fit, Barb also discussed the importance of a support system when going through a journey such as breast cancer. "I love living in a small community," said Barb. "Just knowing that everyone is thinking about you, and having friends and family that are always there for you is very important." Barb also touched on the spiritual aspect of her journey, and how she and her family relied on prayer. Barb and Sarah handed out guardian angel coins to the players in honor of the angels she believed watched over her. The girls also took home information, provided by Altru, about breast cancer and how it can be found at an early stage.
        "If you know anyone who is sick or in need of support, be there for them," said Barb. The Pirates will do just that as they will be participating in the Side-Out Foundation's Dig Pink National Breast Cancer Awareness Rally by hosting a Dig Pink Event on Monday, Oct. 8 when they host Climax-Fisher.
        Community members are encouraged to come to the game dressed in pink to show their support for breast cancer survivors and victims. Fans will also be given the chance to make donations throughout the night, including buying wall signs for someone who has had breast cancer, buying pink treats or by giving a free-will offering during the match. All proceeds will go to the Side-Out Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that encourages volleyball players and coaches to work toward the common goal of making a significant difference in the lives of breast cancer patients and their families.
        The volleyball team wants to honor survivors and remember those who have lost their battle with breast cancer, and encourages the community to do the same by showing their support on Monday, Oct. 8.

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