City Council, Finn Kofoed, and the Kofoed family

Five hundred seventy six pink pinwheels were placed around the perimeter of Eagle Mountain City Hall on Tuesday in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been recognized every October nationally since its inception in 1985 but had yet to be officially recognized by Eagle Mountain City. That is, until it found a spot on Tuesday’s City Council meeting agenda.

The proclamation declaring this October Breast Cancer Awareness Month would be read by Eagle Mountain City Recorder Fionnuala Kofoed who is in the midst of a battle with breast cancer.

Kofoed, known as “Finn” to friends and family, was diagnosed with the disease in June of this year and has worked with Eagle Mountain City for more than 19 years.

Prior to the reading of the proclamation, Councilmember Carolyn Love honored Kofoed with the Eagle Mountain Resident Recognition Award, an award given by the council to residents that have demonstrated outstanding service to the community.

“We are lucky to have in Eagle Mountain both an employee and a resident who goes above and beyond in service to our city and its residents,” said Love at the meeting. “We could have recognized Finn’s contributions at any time, but it’s particularly fitting that we recognize her this month because October is also Breast Awareness Month.”

Love described Kofoed’s attitude toward her battle with the disease as one of “courage and feistiness.”

Following the presentation of the award, each member of Eagle Mountain City Council, many of whom were wearing pink in support of the fight against breast cancer, had the opportunity to share their appreciation for the recipient. One by one, each member of council shared personal anecdotes and thanks for Kofoed in a show of gratitude.

“This is going to be Finn night,” joked Mayor Tom Westmoreland. “Finn is an inspiration to me. I’m totally amazed at how she keeps going. I don’t know how she does it,” he said.

“[She is] that constant voice to protect us,” said Councilmember Colby Curtis.

“You have helped raise the bar for Eagle Mountain and made us a city that’s to be respected,” said Councilmember Donna Burnham to Kofoed.

Councilmember Brett Wright fought back tears as he described Kofoed as “trustworthy, accountable and dependable.”

“[Finn] has always been there and been great for our city,” said Councilmember Jared Gray.

Following council’s thoughts, everyone in the council chambers rose to give Kofoed a standing ovation, including her family, who was in attendance.

Kofoed then approached the stand to read the proclamation to council. Through tears, she said, “I didn’t want this proclamation to be about me, I wanted to bring awareness to something that has had a massive impact on my life.”

“It shattered my world,” said Kofoed, speaking of her June diagnosis. “Trying to pick up the pieces and move on has been difficult. …I have the control over how I behave and how I respond, my attitude, my actions, and [cancer] can’t take that away from me.”

After the proclamation, the Eagle Mountain City Council unanimously voted to approve the resolution and officially declare October Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Eagle Mountain.

Kofoed says that if the proclamation can help even one woman get an early screening and save a life, it will be worth it.

“Prior to June, ‘cancer’ was just an ugly word,” she said. “I had no idea of the impact it can have on a person’s life. I am committed to paying it forward. I’m willing to help anybody out there.”

“It’s not in my nature to sit in the corner and cry about it,” said Kofoed after the meeting. “I mean, there are days that you do… But I try not to let it get in my way.”

Kofoed also says that she considers herself very lucky to live in the United States and in Utah where resources for cancer patients and preventions are abundant:

“If there is anybody out there [in need of support], please feel free to reach out to me because I will do whatever I can to help you on this journey,” said Kofoed.

October is officially recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Eagle Mountain City. For more information or to schedule a screening, please visit the Intermountain Healthcare Mammography website.