Breast cancer survivor shares her story

EAST LIVERPOOL – Pink was the order of the day Wednesday at the Community Resource Center, where the annual Breast Cancer Awareness luncheon gave woman and men an opportunity to learn about the disease and celebrate with its survivors.

The event has been held at least 20 years, according to promoters, who said this year an evening session was added to the program to allow those who work during the day to attend.

Speakers, testimonials, displays, drawings and meals featuring pink desserts were all part of the program.

Among the speakers was breast cancer survivor Kay Adkins, owner of Kay’s Place Dog Grooming and a licensed minister.

Adkins gave a brief history of breast cancer, saying the disease was first reported by Egyptians 3,500 years ago, sometimes eliciting laughter from her listeners as she related some of the theories that have arisen about what causes it.

For example, she said, one doctor said a lack of sex was the cause, while another said too much sex caused it.

Noting there are nine types of breast cancer, Adkins said, “Don’t assume everyone has the same thing, feels the same, deals the same. Be there, encourage, but watch what you say.”

She said telling a cancer victim, for instance, that another person has had the same disease and “did just fine,” can be demeaning for someone dealing with the effects of the disease in a less positive way.

Adkins said her oncologist told her, “There is no cure, you survive it.”

She encouraged those present to have mammograms done if they have insurance and are financially able to do so, emphasizing, “No one is too young for testing.”

Others who offered their own stories or health information during the event included Pat McAtee, Kathy Tharpe of Trinity Health Systems, Ronnie Tomko of Boardman Medical Center, Karen Williams, R.N., of the Columbiana County Health Department and Esther Jackson.

Tables with displays and donations were provided by a number of agencies.