More than 327,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year alone. The numbers are staggering, but the stories of the people diagnosed can be inspiring.

As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, The Explorer will honor local survivors of the disease in a special section we’re calling “Paint the Desert Pink.”

Not only will we share their stories of courage but we will also feature some steps women and men – yes, men can have breast cancer, too – of all ages should take to either prevent or seek care for the disease.

If you know someone in Marana or Oro Valley who is currently undergoing treatment or you know of local stories of inspiration, please contact reporter Thelma Grimes at tgrimes@explorerenews.com, or by calling 797-4384.

We will also feature a free tribute section for those of you who would like to honor someone you love who is battling breast cancer, who beat the disease, or who fought the fight and lost.

Your message is free. You also can upgrade your message as a boxed ad with a picture for $25. To submit your message, call our office at 797-4384. The deadline is Oct. 10.

You can also contact us if you’d like to advertise in this special section, which will be published as part of our Oct. 19 edition. The Explorer will donate 5 percent of the proceeds from all the ads sold to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The Foundation helps educate the public about cancer prevention. Hopefully, there won’t be a need for special sections for this disease in the future. Until then, The Explorer is proud to help increase awareness and pay tribute to those who are diagnosed.

Speaking of October, can you believe it’s finally here? The weather is slowly cooling down and residents are returning en masse to the Old Pueblo.

It’s also one of the busiest times of year in Arizona. Exciting and informative events are taking place every hour of every day, it seems.

To stay on top of the fun, be sure to visit our website at www.explorernews.com. We cover everything, from town meetings and business expos to cultural and kids events.

If you’d like to be the first to know when news is posted, Like us on our Facebook page or join our followers on Twitter. It’s so easy to do!

And remember to send us pictures you take at the events, as well as at weddings, engagements, birthdays and other milestone celebrations. You can email them to me at editor@explorernews.com. Please include your contact information, and indentify the people and event pictured.

Many thanks! And have a great week! 

— Wendy Miller

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