BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – With cancer being among the leading causes of death in Kern County. Adventist Health is putting breast cancer awareness at the forefront with its annual ‘VIPink’ event.

The event is aimed to help women place some much-needed attention on their health and raise awareness about prevention and early detection.

“As mothers, I’m a mom of four, even just women, we oftentimes put ourselves on the back burner. We are taking care of our children, our family, our parents, our relatives, work and oftentimes we think we can get to ourselves later. And this is really the time to get your mammogram put that at the forefront of your mind and get checked,” said Physician Liaison Valerie Mendiburu.

However, for Mendiburu, this event is more than just a night of fun, it is personal.

“In 2018, my mother was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, which is a really aggressive form of breast cancer and it tore our whole world upside down before that if you would have asked if we had any cancer that run in our family I always checked the no box and I found out that I have the genetic mutation for breast cancer so it really sparked in me this passion to help other women become aware of what their risk is,” said Mendiburu. \Now they both have a new life, together.

“My mom’s been in remission for three or four years now. We’re blessed at her outcome, but she caught it really early and now it saved my life as well,” said Mendiburu.

Mendiburu shares that coming together can make a big difference.

“It can be isolating, but when you see other women that have gone through or are going through the same thing that you are, you develop the support system that is so important to get through this illness,” said Mendiburu.

For more information and resources go here.