By BOB PALMER,
When W.F. Lockett Stadium goes pink Friday night, Jamie Wood and Diana Furlow will be smiling. The two breast cancer survivors said last week they appreciate the effort to raise awareness of breast cancer and all types of cancer and for the community to show support for those battling the deadly disease. “I get into any pep rally, but I really get into the pink-out one,” Furlow, the Jefferson High School secretary, said. Wood agrees. “The pink-out is nice,” Wood said. “It should not be just for breast cancer, though, but for all cancers. It does bring awareness for women.”
Both Wood and Furlow were relatively young with young families when they discovered they had breast cancer. “I was in the shower and felt a lump,” Wood said. “I called the doctor.” A series of medical tests followed and eventually a bilateral mastectomy. Wood was only 34 at the time. “I’ve been cancer free for seven years now,” Wood said.
Furlow discovered she had cancer following a routine mammogram. “In November 2012,
Wood also recalled being “very emotional” and fearing that should would not live to see her three-year old daughter and son who was in junior high grow up. Wood and Furlow found strength in the same place. “God brought me through this,” Wood declared. Furlow recalled how First United Methodist Church “had very wonderful prayer vigil over me before my surgery.” She found more than prayers to sustain her.
I had a lumpectomy,” Furlow said. “I went through 12 weeks of two different types of chemo and 12 weeks of radiation.” Both women report a rollercoaster ride of emotion.” “When the doctor first gave me my diagnosis, there was an instant when I just about broke down into hysterics,” Furlow said.
“I had a huge support network,” Furlow said. “Work friends brought me meals after chemo.” The encouragement Furlow received helped her shape her approach to the crisis. Both Wood and Furlow find satisfaction in sharing their stories with others battling cancer and to encourage women to have regular mammograms.
“Attitude makes the difference in any major life battle,” Furlow said. “You can say I am going to fight this and win.”
JHS and JJHS volleyball teams will wear pink socks, wristbands, headbands, etc. to support breast cancer awareness month and all other cancers in a ‘general’ sense. Pregame activities before the Atlanta contest include the release of pink balloons after statistics about breast cancer are read. Fans can email the names of those that are currently battling or have lost the battle with breast cancer to Shannon Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those names will be announced.
The JISD staff is also attempting to bring a mobile mammogram unit to Jefferson. Several teachers have an interest in having the Christus Good Shepherd mammography van come to the schools. Contact Debora Hall at 903-665-2461 if you are interested. At least 12 staff members or spouses need to participate in order to bring the unit here.
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