Great Bend family supports cancer research through license-plate purchases

(Great Bend, Kas.) - When Pollie Unruh, Great Bend, bought a car to celebrate the last of her surgeries and treatments, she took an extra step in her fight against breast cancer.

She equipped the new vehicle with a Driven to Cure license plate.

I bought this license tag to show support for those who have fought the breast cancer battle and to encourage those who are still fighting, Unruh said.

Unruhs three daughters also tagged their cars with the Driven to Cure plates. One of the siblings is married and lives in Kansas City; the other two are students at Kansas State University.

When it was time to renew their plates, Unruh said, they also wanted the breast cancer tag. They have shown support to me during these trying times and this tag means a lot to them.

While October is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Unruh family and Driven to Cure representatives want to remind people the special license plates can be purchased throughout the year.

The car tags support a statewide coordinator to ensure that Kansas communities have access to the latest information on cancer prevention, early detection and treatment.

This is a great cause and it was a very simple process to obtain a tag at the Treasurers Office, Unruh commented. I am proud to support this effort in Barton County and the rest of Kansas, as well as those who have fought this terrible disease.

Unruh was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2011; she underwent major surgery the following month. After several more procedures, she was finally done with everything in October 2012.

The license tags are a great way to honor loved ones and extend cancer research throughout Kansas, said Hope Krebill, executive director of the Midwest Cancer Alliance. MCA is the outreach arm of The University of Kansas Cancer Center.

When people buy a Driven to Cure license plate, they remind women to take charge of their health by getting early-detection exams for breast cancer, Krebill said. Driven to Cure donations support research and education services at hospitals and cancer centers in every corner of Kansas.

The tax-deductible fee for the plate is $50. Krebill noted a Driven to Cure plate can be purchased anytime at local county treasurers offices.

It is probably best to do this at your regular annual renewal time, Krebill suggested. This prevents paying the fee twice in one year.

As an MCA member, St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center has access to breast cancer trials and educational programming supported by Driven to Cure.

St. Rose is proud to support this significant statewide project, said Mark Mingenback, business development director. We need to find as many avenues as we can to build traction in the fight against this disease, while connecting our local communities in the effort.

St. Rose is part of Centura Health, which connects individuals and families across western Kansas and Colorado with more than 6,000 physicians, 15 hospitals, seven senior-living communities, physician practices and clinics, and home-care and hospice services.