MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Inside a classroom at Lauralton Hall in Milford, a lesson in breast health education. It’s something girls at the school are becoming more and more comfortable with.
“I think a lot of it, too, because their moms, aunts or cousins have had to deal with breast cancer. So I think it’s made it more personal to them as well,” said Dr. Toni Iadarola, President of Lauralton Hall.
The school taught it long before they had to.
“It’s quite appropriate we deal with this issue, we really have been trailblazing in doing this,” said Iadarola.
Now, a new law in Connecticut requires all public schools to do the same.
“This is a game changer, I’m thrilled to see that Connecticut is leading the way once again,” said Betsy Nilan, President of the Get In Touch Foundation.
Nilan’s mother, Mary Ann Wasil led the charge to make it happen.
“This was her dream and what Senator Gayle Slossberg has done with this law, that was her dream,” said Nilan.
Wasil passed away in April after a 12-year battle with breast cancer.
“One of the hardest things for me was going to Mary Ann’s funeral over the weekend, then we passed the legislation that Wednesday after. The timing was hard, but for anyone who knows Mary Ann, we know she’s watching,” said Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford).
Now, her legacy continues with the Get in Touch Foundation. Right now, it’s a mission in Connecticut that’s greatly needed.
“In Connecticut, we have the 2nd highest incidence of breast cancer in the country,” said Sen. Slossberg.
Wasil left behind much more than just inspiration.
She left a plan for teaching and early detection called the daisy wheel.
“There are 8 tips on how to do a self-breast exam. Years ago when my mom invented this wheel, she consulted with health educators, oncology nurses, doctors,” said Nilan.
Pushing forward a lifesaving vision.
“The earlier we are able to detect cancer or detect changes in breast tissue, the greater the likelihood a woman would survive her diagnoses of breast cancer,” said Sen. Slossberg.
Schools can decide for themselves what and how to teach the breast health awareness. The Get in Touch foundation is free, evidence based program for schools to use. For more information, click here.