For women living in rural areas treating breast cancer is time consuming, fatiguing, and expensive.
"(I'm) so excited about the rural aspect that women who live a long distance away from a treatment center will be able to get the same kind of care that I was so blessed to receive in Sioux Falls, because I happen to live here," said Nancy Olson, a breast cancer survivor.
Olson is helping celebrate a $3.5 million grant that will fund the Northern Great Plains Personalized Breast Cancer Program, benefiting five Midwest states.
"Patients have been so excited about the potential for what this program can bring to not only their own care but future generations," said Dr. Amy Krie, an oncologist at the Avera Cancer Institute.
More than 900 participants have signed up to take part in the program, which will use a sample from a women's biopsy, a blood sample, and an online questionnaire.
"By putting all of that information together we'll be able to better define how best to treat breast cancer, prevent breast cancer, and improve patients quality of life going through treatment," said Dr. Krie.
It was more than three years ago when Olson was diagnosed. Now a proud survivor, she says she has a renewed energy for life.
"Very grateful that I can be standing here as a healthy survivor to participate in this great moment."