UPMC’s Dr. Adam Brufsky recommends women begin getting mammograms at 40 years old.By Shelby Cassesse

MOUNT CHESTNUT, Pa. (KDKA) — In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, one Butler County couple is welcoming anyone who has been touched by breast cancer onto its property.

Shawn Coddington painted a 20-foot long pink breast cancer ribbon in his yard in Mount Chestnut to honor his fiancé, Heather Adams, who has been battling breast cancer for three years.

“It means something,” Coddington said of the ribbon’s symbolism. “It’s important to them. It gives them strength.”

Adams was diagnosed with breast cancer at 41 following her first mammogram. Through a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy and chemotherapy, she found comfort in helping others fighting the same battle, often coordinating chemotherapy bag giveaways for her chemotherapy center.

(Photo Credit: Shelby Cassesse/KDKA)

This year, the ribbon in her yard is her way of giving back.

“Wouldn’t it be so wonderful if people who are battling breast cancer or lost someone from breast cancer or their family members, they could come here and get their picture taken with the ribbon?” Adams said.

The effort has grown from there. This Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., 100 breast cancer patients who visit the ribbon will also receive a chemotherapy bag made from donations.

Adams and Coddington are also selling t-shirts and coordinating a small raffle to raise money for chemotherapy bags that will be distributed this Christmas.

Reflecting on her own battle, Adams advises every woman to get mammograms. She was 41 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, just about the age UPMC’s Dr. Adam Brufsky recommends women begin getting mammograms.

“Most women, especially those with any family history, if they haven’t had anything done before, should probably begin at age 40,” said Brufsky, who serves as the co-director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center at UPMC.

He says the technology used to catch breast cancer continues to improve.

“We’re able to image things like we never could before, in fact to the point where we’re finding things a lot of times that were even too sensitive,” said Brufsky.

The breast cancer ribbon on the couple’s property is at the intersection of Ridge and Rieger roads in Mount Chestnut. Masks are required, but Adams says she has 100 pink masks that were donated for anyone who needs one.

For more information, visit the Hope At The Farm Facebook page here.

Shelby Cassesse