In 2017, according to the American Cancer Society, 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among women, with an estimated 63,410 additional cases of in situ breast cancer. Approximately 40,610 women are expected to die from breast cancer in the same year. Breast cancer is among the most common cancers in women other than skin cancer. The best prevention of breast cancer is early detection, which is why it is important that women receive annual mammogram screenings.

Partnering with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, the Brownwood Lady Lions want to bring awareness of breast cancer to the community. Each year during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, head coach Julie Kennedy and the Lady Lions volleyball teams select an individual fighting breast cancer and donate proceeds raised to help this individual with hospital bills that are acquired throughout the treatments.

This year hits close to home as it did 30 years ago in 1987 when Brownwood High School Counselor Gayla Barbee Kensing passed due to breast cancer. This July, her daughter, Shawn Barbee, Class of 1991, was detected with triple negative breast cancer. Shawn possesses the positive attitude and drive to overcome this disease.

In honor of both the past and present, all proceeds raised during the “DIG PINK” volleyball game against Sweetwater at 6 p.m. Friday at Warren Gym will go to Shawn Barbee to help conquer this disease. All proceeds from the pledge-a-thon, concessions, baked goods, T-shirt sales, and donations will go directly to Shawn.

“We want every to come out and wear pink,” Kennedy said. “We're going to stream the game live for Shawn Barbee, who lives in North Carolina. If anyone wants to send a donation they can let me know via email or telephone or you can just come out and support.”

If you are interested in pledging, baking an item, or giving a donation please contact Kennedy at Brownwood High School 325-646-9549 or julie.kennedy@brownwoodisd.org.