Patch Patches raise funds and awarenessLocal law enforcement join forces to show support for breast cancer |

Patch Patches raise funds and awarenessLocal law enforcement join forces to show support for breast cancer

Amy Abt
Special to The Union

Amid the yellows, browns, oranges and reds that make an appearance every fall in Nevada County is the color pink, which will once again mingle with the blues and tans of local law enforcement uniforms as several agencies don pink patches in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

This year’s Nevada County Pink Patch Project will include Grass Valley Police Department, Nevada City Police Department, Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and Town of Truckee Police. GVPD, NCPD and NCSO will sell the pink patches to raise funds for a new mammography machine at Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

Grass Valley Police Chief and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation Board Member Alex Gammelgard believes community health has a direct effect on community vibrancy.

“A police department should be deeply involved in the human connections and endeavors that support community health and connectedness,” said Gammelgard. “Our hope, through GVPD’s participation in the Pink Patch Project this October, is that our patches spark conversations, education, and funding to support breast health right here in Nevada County and beyond.”

Pink Patches can be purchased throughout the month of October at GVPD, NCPD, NCSO and Truckee Police Department offices. They can also be purchased at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation, located at 140 Litton Drive, Suite 220 in Grass Valley.

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Patches are $10 each or all four patches can be purchased for $35.

Last year, GVPD, NCPD, NCSO and the California Highway Patrol raised more than $11,500 through their participation in the local Pink Patch Project. SNMHF Executive Director Kimberly Parker says the fundraising by local law enforcement was not only impressive, but positively impacted a number of local individuals.

“Almost everyone knows someone who is battling or has battled breast cancer,” said Parker. “The Pink Patch Project not only helps us raise the funds needed to maintain state-of-the-art detection and care at our local hospital, it will also go toward saving countless lives through early detection.”

Breast cancer develops when cells in a part of the breast become abnormal and begin to grow and divide out of control. If left untreated, these abnormal cells can invade and damage nearby tissue. They can also spread to more distant parts of the body through the bloodstream or through the lymphatic system.

If caught early, prompt treatment of breast cancer often leads to a full recovery. Early stage diagnosis often starts with a mammogram. Mammography is a low-dose x-ray procedure that allows visualization of the internal structure of the breast. The Women’s Imaging Center at SNMH sees more than 4,000 mammogram patients annually.

According to the Center’s Director, Linda Waring, mammograms are able to detect 90% of breast tumors, making mammography an excellent way to find breast cancer at an early stage, when treatment is most successful.

Annual mammograms are recommended for all women aged 40 and older. Those at a higher risk for breast cancer should talk to their health care provider about recommendations specific to their risk factors.

“Early detection is the best protection,” said Waring. “Not only will the Pink Patch Project help Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation in its efforts to raise money for a life-saving piece of equipment, it will also help to increase awareness of the importance of early detection.”

For more information on Nevada County Law Enforcement’s Pink Patch Project or on SNMH’s Women’s Imaging Center, please call SNMHF at 530-477-9700. If you would like to make a donation to the SNMH Breast Cancer Fund, please visit and select “Breast Cancer in the drop-down designation box.

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