Breast cancer month puts spotlight on stories of hope

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The diagnosis of cancer can be among the loneliest feelings a person can encounter in this world. It's the personal whisper or scream of one's mortality.

Karen Drury heard it at age 52 when she was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer, and Jamie Crowell received her diagnosis call of Stage II before a business meeting.

Megan Marchi never wanted to receive such a call after 11 women on her mother's side -- including her mom -- were diagnosed with breast cancer and made the radical decision to have a prophylactic mastectomy at age 26 for peace of mind.

These women's stories are all told today along with the positive strides and community support which has helped them emerge from some dark days.

There are the fund-raising efforts from programs like Saint Francis Medical Center's "Dig For Life" and "Pink Up" that have allowed for better and expanded cancer detection services. Such programs have funded pro-active screening, like the mobile mammography unit that has visited three counties in the Bootheel -- New Madrid, Stoddard and Mississippi counties -- and expanded screening services to include colon, lung and prostate cancer. There are the individual efforts like 6-year-old Amelia Peters, who dedicated all her revenue from a summer lemonade stand to curing cancer. She hand-delivered $191.30 to the Southeast Cancer Center just months after her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

We hope today's stories provide hope and positive feelings in the face of a disease that has touched so many lives. We hope it raises awareness to screening, advances in treatment and comfort to those who may feel alone in their battle. Know that doctors, nurses, researchers and an entire community are on your side.

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