MOUNT PLEASANT - As the Central Michigan volleyball program continues its fight for a Mid-American Conference regular season title, Molly Pretzlaff is just beginning her newest fight with breast cancer.
Seven years ago, Pretzlaff, a Big Rapids resident, and her sister took a precautionary mamogram after their father was diagnosed with breast cancer. This test revieled that her sister had breast cancer as well.
Due to a history of breast cancer within the family, they recieved genetic tests, which came back positive for the BRCA2 genetic mutation. For a female, this increases the odds of getting breast cancer to nearly 90% in their 30s. According to the Susan G. Komen website, between 1 in 400 people and 1 and 800 people have the BRCA2 genetic mutation.
Due to these percentages, Pretzlaff had a preventitive double mastectomy six years ago.
Pretzlaff was diagnosed with breast cancer in August.
She felt a small lump in what was left of her breast tissue, and initially she was told it was "fine and normal." With her history, Pretzlaff asked for a precautionary ultrasound, which came back suspicious. The biopsy revieled that it was invasive ductal carcinoma, the most common form of breast cancer.
Due to the BRCA2 genetic mutation, they also removed her ovaries as a precaution. Her results came back negative, but due to her genetic mutation and the extremely aggressive nature of the tested masses, she must undergo nearly three months of chemotherapy and radiation.
On Satuday night, Pretzlaff will be honored at the "Dig Pink" breast cancer awareness game versus MAC East leading Bowling Green. Pretzlaff and her family will be sitting behind the team, invited to the locker room and announced during a break in the game.
The "Dig Pink" game is one of hundreds around the nation that will be happening to support breast cancer awareness throught the month of October, which happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness month. Fans wearing pink apparel will receive tickets at half price. Fans can also make donations to the Side-Out Foundation or purchase pink t-shirts at the events for $10.
The goal of the volleyball team is to raise $2,000 for the Side-Out Foundation.
In 2004, the Side-Out Foundation was started to bring together volleyball players and coaches, having them work toward the common goal of furthering breast cancer awareness, education and patient services.If you would like to donate, you can do so by clicking the link at the top of the page.