ALTOONA, Pa (WTAJ)– Michelle Day has been involved with the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer for the past 15 years. She walks for her mom, Regina Olson, through her team, the Pink Mulligans.

Her mother received regular mammograms. In December 2006, her mammogram came back clean with no lumps. However, in February 2007, she discovered a lump and had her doctors do further research.

“She had a mammogram in December, which was negative. She was perfectly fine and then had reactions in February, which made her doctors look further,” Day said. “And then, they found out she was pretty far along with breast cancer. Had tried radiation and had done chemo, but it was not caught in time.”

Day’s mother passed away in November that year. Her journey lasted only nine months. Day said she walks each year to hope others have longer journeys.

“My mother’s breast cancer journey was very short, so I’m walking so that others have a longer journey,” Day said.

She came up with her team name because of her mom’s love for golf, and pink is the color for breast cancer. Every year, her team changes, adding various members from moms, teammates, and coworkers.

While she hasn’t done it for the past three years due to Covid, she would hold an annual breast cancer golf tournament. She did this to help fundraise for her team and help with research.

Day spreads the central message of self-advocacy and listening to your body. She makes it her effort to get regular mammograms and do gene testing on her daughters.

“Be your advocate because sometimes an x-ray doesn’t necessarily mean something is not there,” Day said. “You know sometimes yourself that there’s something going on.”

Day said that the people involved with Making Strides had been some of her biggest support systems. It helps to have multiple people who share similar experiences and missions regarding breast cancer.

Day said it’s essential that awareness is spread through her teams. That awareness means that there’s progress towards finding a cure or that regular checks are vital.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re young or older; we all need to be aware. So I think that spreading that message and we’re all making strides, and my team has been small. It’s been big. It’s been, basketball players. It’s been, dancers. It’s been moms; it just changes every year. But we’re all here together.”

Get daily updates on local news, weather and sports by signing up for the WTAJ Newsletter

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk takes place on Sunday, October 16th, at PNG Field in Altoona.