Ann Romney stresses breast cancer awareness in Glamour

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The former Massachusetts first lady and breast cancer survivor participated in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K in Florida last Saturday. She walked with a group of pink-shirted "Team Romney" women. 

Romney wrote in the column that meeting other women across the country who have struggled with this disease, and joining efforts to raise awareness, has been "one of the opportunities I value most about this election."

"It’s hard to overstate the critical role of regular mammograms and clinical breast exams in becoming a survivor instead of a statistic," she continued.

"I was fortunate enough to receive my diagnosis before the disease was very far along," she wrote. Romney, who has a family history of cancer, was diagnosed with "stage zero" breast cancer in January 2009. Her most recent annual screening was in August, and she remains cancer-free.

The op-ed was also a chance for the prospective first lady to reach out to a female-focused audience on a platform that might not otherwise hear directly from the campaign of the GOP nominee. First lady Michelle Obama has played a similar role in the president's campaign, writing guest columns for niche online platforms such as BlogHer and iVillage. 

Romney, in the column, praised her husband Mitt Romney's character, noting that the same qualities that made him her "steady champion" during and after her diagnosis are the reasons he's running for president.

"For him, it’s about giving back to his country in order to make things better for people, for our fellow citizens," she wrote. "He wants to ensure that all Americans have access to the quality healthcare they need. And he also wants to ensure that women have the economic opportunities they deserve.

"Because the fact of the matter is that women across the country are struggling. Some are facing medical battles. Others are struggling to find work in this tough economy. Others are slipping into poverty, trying to keep food on the table for their kids. For women, these trials often come at inconvenient times or all at once," she continued.

"I’m moved by their stories of selflessness and compassion. They reinvigorate my commitment to raising awareness about breast cancer and the host of struggles too many women are facing in America today. I’m both grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to participate in this effort."