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These seven women are proof that motivation can be found in unlikely places. Each started her journey with a breast cancer diagnosis but went down a separate path to discover her own way of fighting back. From exposing scars to walking against the winter chill, these survivors are examples of how strong we can be at our most difficult times. BY TORIE TEMPLE / PHOTOS BY MELISSA DONALD ON THE COVER: V  alerie Hall, page 4, finds help in daily running.

Artwork by Silvia Cabib. Photo by Melissa Donald.

An Upcoming Wedding At the age of 55, Valeria White and her husband made the decision to leave their home in Shelbyville to move in with her dad. Valeria’s father had just finished the disheartening task of moving his wife into a nursing home. It was just after the move when Valeria found a lump in her breast while in the shower. “I wasn’t looking for it,” she says. “I was just washing and found a lump.” Denial and the fear that her family would worry kept her quiet. She told no one of her discovery for two weeks. “I should’ve known better,” she confesses. “We had seen so many buried because of cancer.” Valeria wanted to live. Her daughter’s wedding was just months away, and she wasn’t going to miss seeing her walk down the aisle or any other event in the lives of her four children. After her diagnosis, Valeria had a mastectomy followed by four months of chemo, then six weeks of radiation. During her treatments, the deceased kept her living. She continued her work at the funeral home she and her husband managed, determined not to let cancer bury her. She says taking care of the nonliving taught her to just live and be a part of every moment. “Slow down and take care of yourself,” Valeria advises. “You’ve made it through today; now concentrate on tomorrow. Don’t think about next week. Take one day at a time.” Valeria is a 15-year survivor.


october 2013

Cleaning Houses

Robin Ames winced each time her arm would brush against her right breast. It had become so tender she had no choice but to see her doctor, who would later diagnose her with breast cancer at the age of 36. Before her diagnosis, Robin considered herself “the world’s biggest weenie.” She didn’t realize what she was capable of enduring or how cleaning would help her tackle breast cancer. After her mastectomy, Robin went through eight chemo treatments and 12 weeks of Herceptin injections. She feared becoming ill while receiving her treatments, which prevented her from going out in public often. But instead of being trapped in her own house, Robin found contentment in cleaning others’ houses. She took on as many clients as she physically could, and along with a friend as a co-worker, she got lost in the routine. At the end of the day, cleaning satisfied the physical activity Robin needed as well as the friendship she enjoyed. Her work provided her with the distraction she needed to go from “the world’s biggest weenie” to a survivor.

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Tai Chi

“I kept putting it off. I couldn’t feel a lump,” Rose Phillips says as she describes how a routine mammogram discovered the lump that started her journey with breast cancer at the age of 52. Instead of letting stress take control during her treatment — which consisted of a lumpectomy, four sessions of chemo, and six weeks of radiation — Rose chose to quiet her mind in order to heal her body. After practicing yoga for 30 years, it felt natural for Rose to transition into Tai Chi. This ancient Chinese tradition is practiced today as a series of graceful movements to maintain health. Rose describes it as “moving meditation.” Practicing Tai Chi allowed Rose to remove herself from the present as it uncluttered her mind and helped heal her body as she went through treatments. Throughout her last 10 years as a survivor, Rose continues to practice Tai Chi. She believes it’s an untapped resource for breast cancer patients, and her passion to spread the word has led her to teach her own Tai Chi class.

Running and Walking Valerie Hall went into the first leg of her race to beat breast cancer with a marathon runner’s mentality. Having completed the 2010 Boston Marathon, she knew the mental strength it takes to push through each stride, and she carried this training with her after her diagnosis in 2011 at the age of 50. Valerie was already ahead of the race by knowing what to expect on her journey. The year before her own diagnosis, she supported a friend — who wished she had been more aggressive in her treatment plan — through her second diagnosis. Valerie knew immediately that she would elect for a mastectomy. Going into surgery, Valerie’s cancer was considered stage I. But after surgery, she learned that nine of the 11 lymph nodes the surgeons removed were cancerous, which raised her diagnosis from stage I to stage III. Valerie’s entire family kept the marathon mentality through her mastectomy, eight rounds of chemo, and 28 radiation treatments. Her husband, Dave, continued the running theme as he documented her race on Valerie’s daughter, who was 18 at the time, cheered from the sidelines by posting inspirational quotes. When Valerie couldn’t run, she walked. Even through the coldest winter months, she continued to walk, saying, “Walking got the chemo fog out of my head.” Comparing each mile of her breast cancer journey to her passion for running marathons helped Valerie cross the finish line to celebrate a 2½-year victory.




october 2013


It MiGht Sound

C azy r But It Helped Me ThrouGh Cancer A Photo Session and Documentary The day before her 32nd birthday, Jill Brzezinski-Conley was diagnosed with stage IIIC breast cancer, just six months after she’d gotten married and moved to Louisville. Jill underwent several surgeries, including a double mastectomy, along with 16 rounds of chemo and 33 radiation treatments. After a two-year fight, she went into remission and for this considers herself a survivor. Unfortunately, a year later, Jill was diagnosed with stage IV incurable bone cancer. “My battle has been brutal,” she says, “but I see myself as a survivor. All I want is to help others.” Since her diagnosis, Jill has made it her mission to show other women with cancer that their bodies are beautiful and to be comfortable in their own skin. She teamed up with photographer Sue Bryce and began the photo shoot in Paris, France, that would tell her story. Not wearing her prosthetic, Jill bared all for the shoot, proudly displaying her scars. She continued her quest by producing a documentary, “A Light That Shines,” which quickly gained national attention and landed her a spot on the Today Show. Jill continues her pursuit in helping all women, saying, “If I could change one woman’s life, I’d feel like I would die the happiest woman.” PHOTO BY SUE BRYCE

Keeping My Day Job Despite routine mammograms, Sheila Nation found a lump herself while showering. She immediately made an appointment with her doctor, who diagnosed her with breast cancer at the age of 54. After a mastectomy, Sheila went through four months of chemo, which put her into remission. Four years later, she discovered another lump in the same area. Her oncologist insisted it was just scar tissue, but Sheila had her doubts. At a routine colonoscopy appointment, she asked the doctor if he would be willing to examine the lump she had found. He agreed and later would give her a second breast cancer diagnosis. “It is important to be your own advocate,” Sheila says. “That’s what saved my life.” During her journey with breast cancer, Sheila’s work as a hairstylist kept her spirits up. She kept up a routine and went to work, where she knew she would find normalcy. The relationship and support from her clients kept her motivated each day. A job might not sound appealing when battling something like breast cancer, but for Sheila, it is what kept her going.



october 2013



r e C N a C On Their Own Terms BY YELENA SAPIN


ifting through the noise about new or alternative breast cancer treatment options can be a challenge. You have to do your research, consult with doctors, and make informed decisions to find what’s right for you. You can also benefit from the experience of those who have gone through the cancer wringer before you and come out the other side, a bit crumpled and battle-scarred from the journey but with their spirits intact. Sara Tenenbein, Michelle Hartog, and Christine Egan, three women who faced down breast cancer on their own terms, share what’s worked for them. Confronting the Risk

Sara’s mother was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer at the age of 37. She beat the odds and survived, but her ordeal meant that her daughter too might be at risk. As customary in such cases, Sara began regular screenings in her early 20’s and eventually enrolled in a breast cancer surveillance program. When her doctor suggested that she get tested for the BRCA gene mutation, an option offered to women with a strong family history of cancer, she agreed. The actual odds of having the mutation were very small, and Sara was convinced she didn’t have it. Carriers of the BRCA gene mutation have a very high likelihood of developing breast cancer, as well as a high risk of ovarian cancer. Although Sara received preliminary genetic counseling, she was completely devastated when the results came back positive. “There’s no way you could ever prepare yourself emotionally for something as life-changing as that,” she says. With support from family, friends, and an organization called FORCE, which stands for Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (, Sara got through the initial shock and was able to plan a course of action. CONTINUED TO PAGE 10




october 2013



r e C N a C On Their Own Terms CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

Sara was presented with two options: regular surveillance in hopes of catching anything suspicious at the earliest possible stage, or removing her breasts to bring her risk down to negligible. She initially opted for surveillance, but the doctors’ visits, tests, and anxiety she suffered while waiting for results began to take an emotional toll. “I felt like I had a ticking time bomb inside of me,” she adds, “like if I tripped and fell the wrong way, my body would react by creating a tumor.” Not wanting to live under that kind of stress, she chose to undergo a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy followed by breast reconstruction. Despite the controversy surrounding the procedure, especially in the wake of Angelina Jolie’s recent announcement of having done the same, Sara, now living in Los Angeles, feels relieved and empowered by her decision. “There’s so much gray area in what this gene means,” she says, “and I may not have ever gotten cancer, but you know what? I don’t even think about cancer anymore. I made the decision that would give me the best quality of life.”

A Gentler Breast Reconstruction

Diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram, Michelle underwent a double mastectomy. When it came to breast reconstruction surgery, the Orlando-based RN turned to her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Hartog, who she works with at his plastic surgery practice. Traditional postmastectomy reconstruction is done with either implants or “flaps,” where tissues from other parts of your body are used to create a new breast, but Michelle went a different route: using her own fat. “I felt like it would have the fewest complications and result in the most natural looking breast, and as it turns out I was right,” Michelle says. Fattransfer reconstruction involves wearing the BRAVA tissue expanding device for several weeks to prepare the mastectomy site from the outside, then strategically injecting fat cells harvested through liposuction to build up the breast over several sessions. The procedure is virtually scarfree and can be used alone or in combination with an implant or flap reconstruction. It can also be done after lumpectomy and is a great option for women who’ve had tissue damage due to radiation since it makes tissues softer and more pliable. “It really did work better for me,” says Michelle. “I’m very happy with the results.”


Alternative Chemotherapy

A certified health coach from Bayport, NY and believer in treating her body well, Christine was blindsided by cancer. When her doctor told her she would need chemo after her lumpectomy, she was hesitant. “I was feeling healthy, exercising, eating well, and looking great. I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of putting the chemotherapy poison into my system to make me well,” she writes in The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer, a memoir of her journey through the disease. Tests showed that Christine had a low likelihood of her cancer recurring, “but with stage 2 cancer, I felt I had to do something.” After researching alternatives she chose Insulin Potentiation Therapy (IPT), a low-dose chemotherapy that uses insulin to target cancer cells. The controversial treatment is not medically accepted, but Christine thought the research behind it made sense. She did experience some complications with this as with traditional chemotherapy, but kept her hair and didn’t feel sick. “The decision to go ahead with the IPT seemed like the lesser of two evils,” she writes. “I felt like it was a decision I could live with.” Not one thing gave her cancer, says Christine, and not one thing made her better. Alongside the trilogy of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation — or “cut, poison, and burn” as she calls it — the mother of three nurtured herself with rest, good nutrition, natural supplements, and exercise to keep up her immunity and help her body heal. She also eliminated toxins from her environment and tried to keep her life stress-free. To help her body and mind relax, Christine turned to massage therapy, reflexology, and Reiki. She surrounded herself with supportive family and friends, watched comedies to keep her spirits up, and found a therapist to help her through the toughest parts. She walked in nature, practiced yoga, and meditated. “Whatever I was doing was working, because I felt great, my skin was glowing, and my energy level was good—so good that most of my friends didn’t even know I had cancer,” Christine writes. Ultimately, the biggest takeaway from her experience with cancer is empowerment: “I stepped it up and took responsibility for my body and my treatment,” says Christine. And that’s a plan of action we can all agree on. TODAY’S WOMAN


october 2013


Events &

SU P pO rT Find Support

Gilda’s Club offers support groups for those with cancer and their families. Check them out at

The Most Important Thing BY AMANDA BEAM


Dress up, get a date, walk the pink carpet, get your picture taken, dance the night away to raise money benefitting the Susan G. Komen foundation. Must be 21 or over.



Enjoy the new 5K walk/run course through NuLu and Downtown Louisville and the new team tailgate. Rally your team before and after the race! 502.495.7824


Take steps with the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The three-to-five-mile event will help bring change for people facing breast cancer and their families.


Jessica, sporting her wig for the first time.


ouisville resident Jessica Denson is a busy lady. Most nights, you can find her in the WDRB control room producing the 10 pm news. In her free time, she helps stray animals find homes with No Kill Louisville. But earlier this year, the Texas native received a diagnosis that stopped her in her tracks. A suspicious lump in her right breast spurred a trip to the doctor. Upon having her concerns dismissed by her physician, Jessica took her health in her own hands. A new doctor was found and tests were conducted. It turned out the nervous feelings Jessica had been having were not unfounded. The 40-year-old had stage one breast cancer. After a lumpectomy, Jessica has started year-long chemotherapy treatment. She recently discussed how she deals with the stress of fighting cancer while still maintaining the semblance of a normal life.

How has life become more stressful since your diagnosis?

It does add a level of stress that you’re both aware of and unaware of. I think mentally and emotionally you’re aware that you’re going through this, and this is a scary thing. You don’t want to be a burden on the people you love. All of that raises your stress level. Women tend to be caretakers so it’s hard to let someone else take care of you. There’s a level of guilt. And that’s why I say the unconscious side is that you begin to feel guilt, and you’re trying to make up for that guilt at different times.”

What has helped you alleviate stress?

“It sounds so cliche, but having a support group is the most important thing, more important than anything. I was very lucky working at WDRB. After my first treatment, I came in and they had raised money for me and they all had pink in their hair. My immediate family is far away. I did not realize how much I needed that. I was trying to be strong and go through it, and here were all these people who were saying we support you and we love you and whatever you need, we have your back. That moment just made me realize that I was not alone and not isolated in this.”

Do you have any advice for others recently diagnosed?

“Don’t try to bite it all off at once. And take the support from people who offer it. Know that they want to help you. I think the people around a cancer patient feel helpless and so they want to do something…by accepting that, you’re giving (them) something and getting what you need.” TODAY’S WOMAN


october 2013


Be Brave

Own Thi n g r Do YoU

Interview by HOLLY GREGOR Photography by MELISSA DONALD

BARBARA MILLHOLLAN: ‘It’s a club you never want to join, but if you have to, follow Barb

Community Development Coordinator, Northeast YMCA

and you’re going to have big-time fun — filled with lots of love!’


hat a happy group of people! They are members of Livestrong, a program based out of the Northeast YMCA that offers a free, 12-week family membership to cancer survivors with the requirement of enrolling in one of its programs: Restorative Yoga, water fitness, or small group personal training. Barb Millhollan, community development coordinator, leads members toward fitness, strength, healthy eating, and a safe place to talk about what they are going through. At the Northeast Y, Barb is like the Pied Piper — everybody wants to follow her, including me! Before Barb allowed me to write this article, she insisted I come to the Y to see what she does. So I showed up ready to work out with the Livestrong members. After a 20-minute, fast-paced walk uphill on the treadmill, Barb was standing by to take me to the next activity. I noticed everyone was smiling. Like someone said, “It’s a club you never want to join, but if you have to, follow Barb and you’re going to have big-time fun filled with lots of love!” Later, Barb and I met for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen to talk.

Barb, these people are so happy! How do you do it?

It’s not me! This started out as a job. Now, my job has become my life’s ambition, along with showing my six kids how to give back.

You have a lot on your plate with six kids, a husband, teaching weight loss, coordinating events at the Y, and Livestrong.

A long time ago, when I first came here, the mother of a


children.” She wanted us to adopt every single one. I could see I taught her a very important lesson. How could I tell them to be kind and loving if all I thought about was filling my house with stuff?

Why do you say that?

In my younger years, I was always chasing that perfect home and the perfect dinner with the napkins folded just right. That was stupid. And now you’re going to walk into my house, into my beautiful entrance, and you’re going to see a basketball goal. My kids are allowed to play basketball on the hardwood floor. I think when you’re older, you realize what’s important.

As we finish up our lunch, I ask Barb for a tip on healthy eating.

(Left to right): Ashley Eifler, Sue Knabel , Amy Keller, Sam Miller, Barbara Millhollan, Keith Jones, Richard Rahiya, Leah Dowdy (evening instructor), Mary Beck. friend of my daughter came to my house and knocked on my door. She said, “Your daughter and my daughter go to school together. I love your daughter. I’m here to help you.” She handed me six tickets to New York. My daughter must have told her we were driving to New York for a family emergency. She told me, “I get up every day and say, ‘Lord, use me to make a difference in someone’s life today, and I chose you.’” I started crying. I stole those words from her, so now I get up everyday and say, ‘God, let

me make a difference in at least one person’s life today.’ So, that’s how I do it. Because it’s a big world, right? How do you think you’re going to make a difference? When you look at the big picture, you get overwhelmed. You say, ‘I can’t do that.’ But if you say ‘Just let me make a difference in one person’s life,’ it’s easier. Whether it’s that woman who lost that weight, or the one we sit beside while she gets her chemo, or bringing soup to her house because she can’t go out.

I think when you start doing that, it becomes addicting because it feels so good. You’re right. They give me more than what I give them. It’s selfish in a way. It’s a good selfish.

Yes, it is, because it’s a win-win.

It was rewarding when my 17-year-old daughter said, “Mom, I want to raise money to go on a mission trip to the orphanage in Costa Rica.” So she went to Costa Rica and every day she would text me, “Mom, we have to save these

I add quinoa to my oatmeal every morning. It has lower carbs and keeps you fuller longer. So I make a big bowl of quinoa on Sunday. It takes a long time to cook. Then all week, I add a quarter cup to my oatmeal. It has lots of protein and lower carbs so you’re not starving. It’s realistic stuff. My time with Barb came to an end. I spent the summer getting to know her and the Livestrong members. In addition to the pounds and inches I lost, I gained new friends. I’m not ready to leave. So, even though this is a club I don’t want to join, I’m going to join them... for all the fun, and the love they show one another and I hope to reciprocate that love back to them. For a candid talk with writer Holly Gregor and Livestrong member Keith Jones, who is currently fighting prostate cancer, go to BeBraveDoYourThing.



october 2013


10 WY aYS to Turbo CharGe our Immune System BY SANDRA GORDON

The world is filled with nasty viruses, bacteria, and microbes just waiting to do you in. At the very least, they can cause temporary sickness and misery. Worse, they can make you more vulnerable to killer conditions like cancer. The good news? You don’t have to take it. Here are 10 simple ways to mobilize your immune system’s illness-fighting forces — the T cells, natural killer cells and antibodies that declare war and act the enemy.

1 Give yourself a shot against illness.





Vaccines aren’t just for kids. Adults need them too. In fact, there are 10 vaccine-preventable diseases adults can protect themselves against, such as hepatitis B (for adults with diabetes or who are at risk for hepatitis B) and measles, mumps, and rubella. Except for the flu shot, which is recommended yearly for adults age 19 and older, many of the vaccines require only one or two doses over the course of a lifetime. Protecting yourself safeguards others. It’s now recommended that adults, especially those in close contact with infants younger than 12 months, such as parents, grandparents, babysitters and nannies, get the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine and a booster every 10 years after that. For a complete list of the vaccines for adults, visit the CDC, atcdc. gov/Features/AdultVaccines/.

Get some shut eye.

Studies suggest that sleep deprivation causes sluggish production of natural killer cells, a type of white blood cell that can obliterate certain microbes and cancer cells. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that catching a cold is more likely if you sleep less than seven hours a night. All 153 participants in the study were given a solution containing live rhinovirus (a common cold virus). Those who slept 8 hours or more each night were three times less likely to catch the cold. Overall, your best bet is to aim for a solid eight hours of sleep each night, says Merrill Mitler, Ph.D., program director at the Neuroscience Center at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, MD. If that’s not possible, nap if you can, and be sure to catch up on lost sleep on the weekends.

Don’t be a fat phobic.

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish like salmon) may help reduce your body’s production of eicosanoids from omega-6 fatty acids, hormone-like substances that can overstimulate your immune system, says Artemis Simopoulos, M.D., founder and president of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington, D.C. That might explain why high levels of eicosanoids are associated with autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diverticulitis, multiple sclerosis and lupus, which occur when an hyper-alert immune system attacks the body’s own cells as a “foreign invader.” To up your diet’s omega-3 intake, eat fish at least two times a week, says Dr. Simopoulos, echoing the recommendation of the American Heart Association.

Pile on the produce.

A healthy diet has the power to prevent heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, and some forms of cancer. Only 25 percent of U.S. children and adults consume the minimum recommended intakes of vegetables, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. As a general rule, half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. “Focus on eating more produce in whatever way it’s convenient for you,” says Marisa Moore, R.D., L.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Minimize nutrient loss during cooking by steaming or microwaving veggies in a small amount of water until just tender-crisp. CONTINUED TO PAGE 18



october 2013





10 WY aYS to Turbo CharGe our Immune System

Guard against weight gain.

Research shows that obesity may alter your immune-system response. Add to that the many health risks associated with being overweight (including heart disease, diabetes, and sleep apnea), and avoiding the 20- to 30-pound gain that many adults pack on as they age, becomes an important way to safeguard your well-being, says Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., founding director of the Weight Management Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The number you don’t want to hit: a body mass index(BMI) of 25 or higher, which is considered overweight. To determine your BMI, log onto, the website for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Exercise your options.

Doing moderate workouts (like walking or jogging) for at least 30 minutes five or more times a week can increase the circulation of immune-boosting natural killer cells in your body, even when you’re at rest, according to Susanna Cunningham-Rundles, Ph.D., research professor of immunology in pediatrics at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. But overdosing may work against you. The stress of intense exercise (approximately 75 minutes or more at a strenuous pace, or anything that makes you feel as if you’re pushing yourself too hard) may stimulate stress hormones like cortisol, which some studies suggest can suppress natural killer cells. The upshot? If you’re a long-distance runner or serious athlete, you may be at increased risk for colds and flu. Take other stay-healthy steps, like getting plenty of sleep, eating a wellbalanced diet, and asking your doctor about a flu shot, recommends Cunningham-Rundles.

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Don’t get caught dirty-handed.

Get in the habit of coughing and sneezing into your sleeve or elbow and teach your kids to do the same. Cold and flu viruses spread from person to person in spray droplets (sneezing) or when germ carriers cough or sneeze into their hands then touch, say, the TV remote or the phone. Also be sure to wash your hands often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom, changing a diaper and touching raw meat, poultry, fish, or eggs. Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent microbes that cause colds, flu, and foodborne illness from entering your body. If soap and water aren’t available, hand sanitizer will do.

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Take a breather.

Evidence suggests that unmanaged stress sets off a chain of hormonal events that can decrease the activity of natural killer cells, says Gailen Marshall, M.D., Ph.D., director of the division of allergy and immunology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. Runaway stress can also make you susceptible to colds and aggravate chronic conditions such as asthma and allergies. “Recognize your limitations and give yourself permission to have time just for you,” Marshall advises. Schedule in at least 20 minutes of daily down time and find a fun hobby.

Get more zinc.

If you feel a cold coming on, try a zinc-based cold remedy, such as Cold-Eeze. “It can help boost your immune system to lessen the duration of a cold and severity of symptoms,” says Bob Stout, a pharmacist in Candia, NH. Cold-Eeze works by sealing the receptors on cells so that cold viruses can’t enter and replicate. For best results, start the treatment — pop a lozenge or give yourself two spritzes of the oral spray version — within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms.

10 Don’t go it alone.

Can you name someone who’d help you in a pinch? Do you have a confidante? Answering yes puts you at lower risk for illness, particularly heart disease, says Marty Sullivan, M.D., director of the Healing the Heart Program at the Duke Center For Living in Durham, NC. Studies show that people who have a diverse social network (including friends, family, coworkers, etc.) have greater resistance to colds too. But don’t just “friend” someone on Facebook. Strengthen your connections by meeting in person occasionally for coffee or a fun night out.



october 2013


PRevol iN K ution The

Our invitation to come to the park to celebrate being a breast cancer survivor was met by these inspirational women.




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21 21

P iWisdom NK Renea Adkins and daughter Caitlin Adkins “She learned how to take care of Mom.”

Trina Amos “I’ve learned that I had strength that I never knew I had. It (cancer) has made me a better person. Cancer has given me so much more than it took away.”

Susan Henken What have you learned about yourself from facing breast cancer? “You learn to deal with yourself and how to handle situations. You learn not to have fear, because you have to deal with it. People have told me I’ve been an inspiration to them, because I never stopped smiling.”

Ruth Totty-Mitchell (seated) “The most pesky thing is a fly, and cancer is like that. it keeps coming back. You’ve got to kill it before it spreads.” The day after this shot was taken, Ruth celebrated the one-year anniversary of her surgery.


Debbie Ress, Diane Krall, Tracy Sanders, Debbie Kniss, Susan Stokes, Rusti Silverthorn Tracy Sanders: “I came down to meet more people, because I don’t have a support group.”

Sara Walker “I’m going to run on the bridge after this.” TODAY’S WOMAN

Today's Woman Breast Health Supplement 2013  
Today's Woman Breast Health Supplement 2013  

These women are proof that motivation can be found in unlikely places. Each started her journey with a breast cancer diagnosis but went down...