Natalie's Everyday Heroes: Komen Wisconsin's BigWigs, raising money for breast cancer research

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- Komen Wisconsin will be crowning its BigWig Thursday night at its "Hello, Spring!" gala. The gala is being held in person for the first time in two years. Community leaders have been wearing bright pink wigs for the last few weeks, raising money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer.

One of this year's BigWigs is Manpower's chief marketing officer, April Dunn. Dunn has been spicing up her work wardrobe with her pink wig.

"I looked at a couple options, but this is the one that seemed to resonate the best," she said with a laugh.

But the wig is more than just a fashion statement -- it's also a way to fight breast cancer.

"Obviously, people smile when they see someone that's unexpectedly wearing a really bright pink wig," Dunn said.

Dunn is one of 13 BigWigs this year, all raising money for Komen Wisconsin. It's a cause Dunn has been involved with in the past, but it became even more personal when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the start of the pandemic.

"I actually have no family history of breast cancer and had a normal mammogram only six or seven months earlier. I happened to find it myself," she said of her diagnosis.

Her work team is on board with her efforts, and they've gotten used to her new look.

"It's a really fun way to get the word out," said Samantha Throckmorton, senior manager of marketing services. "But it was really fun and exciting to see her wearing it. Then of course that started the conversation as to why, supporting the cause and just more conversations around that."

The BigWig team at Molson Coors is having fun with the experience, too.

"It's fun and sassy, which I kind of think that I am," Emily Rivera said of her wig.

Each woman on the team has been wearing their wig at work.

"I wore this wig in a big presentation with our senior leadership team and that's how it all started," said Delia Noblecilla, director of the project management office.

Three of the four women on the team, Rivera, Noblecilla and Kathy Shaw, are all breast cancer survivors, too.

"I think the network of women is so strong, you know, you build this bond, this exclusive club that you don't want to be a part of, but you are," Shaw said.

Their wigs are another way to spread the word and start important conversations.

"I get a lot of, 'what's with the pink wig? What are you doing?' And then I get to direct them to, I have signs up in my cubicle. We have signs all over the office," Rivera said, motioning to her office walls.

Dunn said it's a great way to give back.

"It means a lot to know that the people who were here and supporting me through my own journey are now here to help me to pay it forward to others," she said.

Komen's "Hello, Spring!" gala is Thursday night at Bottle House 42 in Milwaukee. CBS 58 is a proud partner of the event. For more information or to donate to this year's BigWig campaign, click here.

And if you'd like to nominate an Everyday Hero, send Natalie a message at NShepherd@cbs58.com.

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