Chicks N' Chaps Raises Money For Breast Cancer Patients - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Chicks N' Chaps Raises Money For Breast Cancer Patients

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MISSOULA -

Three years ago Melanie Coyle experienced the unthinkable when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

"It was a tough thing. My mom was a breast cancer survivor, and somehow I thought it would never happen to me," Coyle said.

She found out after she had a dream she found a lump, and went to the doctor.

"I felt, and there it was. Within a few days I knew it was breast cancer," Coyle said.

Coyle had two major support systems when going through her treatment: her mother, who was also a survivor, and Chicks N' Chaps. The group is known for raising money for local breast cancer patients through its signature Women's Rodeo Clinics.

"When you're in survival mode you'll do anything to stay alive, so it doesn't matter what it costs," Coyle said.

She was a newly single mother at the time, and was in serious need of the financial assistance, but the lively atmosphere of the groups events also gave her something else.

"To see all the people there supporting breast cancer survivors, and people going through treatments was encouraging," Coyle said.

The group started in 2008 by Shannone Hart after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hart's mother passed away after her cancer later returned.

"It's helped people like my mom who had a lot of out-of-pocket expenses," Hart said.

The group now holds its Rodeo Clinics in ten states. All the money stays in the town their held in.

"You see a lot of women diagnosed with breast cancer, and that part never gets easier, but you also see all of the success," Hart said.

Coyle was a success story of her own with some help from Chicks N Chaps.

"It was something that I really needed in that time in my life, and inspiration," Coyle said.

For more information on the group and its events, head to Chicks N Chap's website.

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