CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and on Friday morning Kanawha County leaders read a proclamation to dedicate the month to all of those who are currently or have previously battled the devastating disease.

Kanawha County Commissioners and elected officials talked about early detection, and how it’s important to keep up with self-exams, and yearly mammograms. But the most moving speaker wase Becky Neal, who is currently fighting breast cancer and just had a chemo treatment on Thursday.

Neal’s sister and mother both battled the disease, so she credits her awareness of the importance of self-exams as to why she’s still here fighting today.

“Because if you can catch it early and go to your primary care physician and get a mammogram and do all of that. Mine started growing at such a large rate. Within two weeks, at first it was the size of pea, then the size of grape and by the time I got to my primary care physician it was the size of a lemon,” says Neal.

Commissioner Ben Salango says it’s important to be aware of the disease, especially coming out of the pandemic.

“Early detection saves lives and so one thing that we saw during COVID is that with a lot of the procedures shut down women weren’t getting their mammograms and so we want to make sure that they’re back on schedule talk to your family doctor follow the American Cancer Society recommendations make sure you’re getting your mammograms make sure you’re doing self-exams because early detection saves lives it’s not even debatable,” says Salango.

Neal helped raise the breast cancer flag, which will be up all month long at the Kanawha County Courthouse, along with a pink wreath. Neal says she also donated her biopsy for research.