By Melissa Garcia

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – A Colorado breast cancer survivor is packing her bags to walk in the Survivor’s Parade during this year’s Kentucky Derby. Jessica Sidener was one of 450 women nationwide nominated through an online voting process.

A view of the Survivor’s Parade during the 2016 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. (credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

A total of 145 cancer survivors will walk in the May 3 parade on the historic Churchill Downs racetrack prior to the 145th running of the Longines Kentucky Oaks.

(credit: CBS)

Sidener founded Night Out with “The Girls” (NOWTG), a program in Greenwood Village to empower women about early breast cancer detection, and encourage them to take their health into their own hands. She was 37-years-old when she learned she had breast cancer, a diagnosis she would have never expected.

“True confessions. I never ever did a breast self exam … I had no family history. and I had no idea what a lump felt like,” Sidener told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

(credit: CBS)

Now cancer-free more than two years later, she wants women to get excited about self-awareness.

(credit: Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

“I believe women can learn about early breast cancer detection and have fun at the same time,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

NOWTG brings together women of all ages with a survivor and a health care professional so that they can ask questions and get answers.

The program will put on three events in May and three more in June. To sign up or learn more, visit nightoutwiththegirls.com

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