CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – Candi Brandau-Larson knew something was wrong when she discovered a lump in her breast.
She found it doing a self-breast exam.
A short time later, doctors determined it was cancer.
“I wanted to find a way to help educate people and what to look for, so that they’re not scared and I was a coach for 14 years for young women, so I wanted to teach young women because the younger you learn the better chance of it becoming a habit,” says Brandau-Larson.
Candi and donors from Mercy’s Breast Center Foundation created Breastology Bags.
These models look and feel like real breast tissue.
“I wanted to target junior high and high school girls because they’re developing earlier and need to know what normal feels like for them,” says Brandau-Larson.
Kim Anderson is a nurse at Mercy Medical Center North Iowa’s Breast Center.
She helped Candi develop the project and offers suggestions for young ladies.
“When doing a self-breast exam it’s important to do it once a month and usually at the same time of the month not around the menstrual cycle,” says Anderson.
For Candi, her ultimate goal is to help save women from what she went through.
“We just want to educate that there’s a difference and if you’re not afraid then you have a better chance at finding it.”
A total of 32 Breastology bags were given out to local schools in the area.