** Announcement: Thank you for an awesome Pink October 2016! **

We want to extend a heartfelt "thank you" to the 122 patient, friends and family members who helped contribute to our Pink for October campaign this year. We're looking forward to doing it all over again next October. 


Soulsmile Goes Pink

For the month of October, we "go pink" to help raise funds and awareness for breast cancer.  You've probably seen people sporting pink ribbons or maybe even spotted some football players wearing pink cleats on TV, but do you know what all the pink hoopla is about? Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. Here are some more facts:

  • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.  
  • When breast cancer is detected early, in the localized stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is 100%.
  • Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options. 
  • Over 2.9 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.


Why It's Important to us

After graduating from UC Davis, Dr. Kivel and his best friend decided to take the winter off of academics (before they both pursued grad schools) to be ski bums. That winter, Dr. K and his friend moved in with his friend's parents, Mark and Tillie, in Mammoth, CA. It remains one of Dr. K's favorite periods of his life. They skied as much as humanly possible, worked in the cafeteria at the ski lodge and socialized mainly with Mark and Tillie and their friends. Aron came to refer to Mark and Tillie as his "adopted parents" and they still refer to him lovingly as their son. Mark and Tillie have seen Dr. K through all the trials of life, becoming close with Dr K's parents and his wife, Ryann, along the way.

Mark and Tillie visiting the Kivels in Southern Oregon. Picture taken at Red Lily Vineyards.

Mark and Tillie visiting the Kivels in Southern Oregon. Picture taken at Red Lily Vineyards.

Anyone who's met Tillie can attest that she is one of the most vivacious people on earth! The way she dives into the details of every aspect of life in unmatched. She is the ultimate firecracker but also has the biggest heart. Beware if she offers you a famous margarita, though - they are dangerous! Tillie was first diagnosed with breast cancer in the early 90s. She had always been religious with mammograms. She could feel the lump in her left breast, but a mammogram showed nothing. Fortunately she had a very proactive internist.  He ordered a lumpechtomy anyway. It showed a .9 cm invasive ductal carcinoma.  In those days 1 out of every 10 American women would be diagnosed with breast cancer and all the lymph nodes would be removed.  She was given the option of chemo but opted for radiation.  The side affects were debilitating, night sweats (think menopause), mood swings, etc - but she eventually received a clean bill of health. 

Fast forward to 2003.  She felt a new lump in the right breast.  Again the mammogram and an ultrasound showed nothing.  Because of her history, another lumpechtomy was ordered.  This time the tumor was 1.5 cm, and same kind of cancer as the left one had. She opted again for radiation and has successfully beat her second round of breast cancer. 

But now 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and Tillie can't stress enough the importance of self examinations. If it weren't for her own diligence, it may have been too late. The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. 


How we're helping

We've decided to partner with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. NBCF focuses on extending women's lives through education about breast cancer and early detection. NBCF’s Early Detection Plan enables you to be proactive about your health by scheduling routine breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and mammograms, depending on your age and health history. By providing funding for educational programs and mammograms, NBCF helps save the lives of thousands of uninsured women by reaching them at a vulnerable time in their lives and ensuring their good breast healthcare. The Foundation also contributes a portion of its income to research.

Instead of asking others to donate, we want to donate on your behalf. For each new Facebook "like" on our Soulsmile Facebook page in the month of October, we will donate $1 to NBCF. Please share the campaign with your friends and family. Not only can they learn more about breast cancer and early detection, they can help donate with the click of a button. We will be campaigning until we reach our goal of $1,000. 


How You can Help

1. Like our Facebook page! www.facebook.com/soulsmiledental
2. Invite your friends and family to do the same. 
3. Commit to self-exams every month. Learn how here: http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-self-exam
4. If you are over 40, schedule yearly mammograms with your provider.

You may also consider making your own donation to NBCF or the organization of your choice. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about our campaign and measures we can take for early detection.