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Good Morning America’ broadcasts from campus

Wendy Hatch | Thursday, October 3, 2013

 

Bright lights, cameras and a crowd of women in pink woke the echoes quite early Tuesday morning as they cheered for breast cancer awareness on national television.

In honor of the first day of October, which is breast cancer awareness month, crews from ABC’s “Good Morning America” came to South Bend to do a remote live shooting in front of the Hesburgh Library featuring the Kelly Cares Foundation and Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Mobile Medical Unit staff. 

In the segment, Tampa Bay, New York City, Chicago and South Bend were highlighted. Notre Dame cheerleaders and the leprechaun participated in the filming, with crowds forming at 6 a.m. 

Brian and Paqui Kelly launched the South Bend-based Kelly Cares Foundation in 1997 following Pacqui’s 2003 breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent recovery, according to the Foundation’s website. Among their primary goals were promoting breast cancer awareness, funding education research and support initiatives encouraging community engagement, the website said. 

Paqui Kelly said she was “very grateful” for the show’s presence and publicity. 

“I hope that this coverage will make someone stop and think, and then make an appointment with their doctor,” she said. “Every story is unique but I hear too often ‘If I’d only known.'”

Another group featured Monday was Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center’s Mobile Medical Unit, which comes to Notre Dame’s campus once a month. The Mobile Medical Unit is a 40-foot clinic on wheels that has a mammogram unit, encouraging women to get checked regularly.

Monica Hoban, an administrative assistant in the Main Building, said the Mobile Medical Unit may have saved her life. 

In 2010, Hoban made a 30-minute round trip from her office to the Mobile Unit, and she said the mammogram results showed three different breast tumors. Now cancer-free for three years, Hoban said the timing of her test was crucial. 

“If I would have waited another year, I don’t know if I’d be here today,” Hoban said. 

She said she hopes the national television coverage will motivate women out there, like her, who had put off getting mammograms to get one.

“Maybe [one] will see us,” she said, “We are sisters; like it or not, we are a part of this club. … You reach a new normal, [and] you become happy where you are.”