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Huntington Mall hosts breast cancer awareness events

Oct. 05, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

BARBOURSVILLE — Marshall University’s homecoming festivities and game Saturday drew a lot of green to the region. But pink was the color of choice at the Huntington Mall, which hosted Zumba and a fashion show for breast cancer awareness.

The Zumba workout, which took place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., drew more than two dozen instructors and participants who were willing to get sweaty in front of mall patrons.

“All the instructors talked about how proud we are to come to the mall and have them shaking it for a good cause,” said Korri Powers, an instructor from Winfield.

Among those getting a good workout was Ashley Turley of Hurricane. She recently started Zumba to help with her own health, but she was remembering a friend from high school Saturday who died last year from breast cancer before she even reached 30 years old.

Huntington resident Nancy Peters also was remembering a young woman as she took part in the annual Think Pink fashion show later in the afternoon. Peters is a breast cancer survivor of nearly eight years. But a mother of three in her 30s she knew from Florida did not survive.

“We’ve lost several ladies, and I always think about them,” said Peters, who is part of a support group at Cabell Huntington Hospital. “I see young moms and it’s hard.”

Peters said there are great opportunities for her to offer support to others, and one way she does that is by telling people that being diagnosed with cancer changed her life for the better.

“It changed my outlook and personality,” she said. “It made me a much more caring person.”

Stacy Medcalf of South Point was one of those young moms, receiving her diagnosis almost 10 years ago. She said her daughters were still in public schools and her son was in college, when at 38, she was told she had stage 4 breast cancer.

Medcalf said she found a lump, though doctors initially said it was nothing to worry about after her mammogram came up clear. But within six months, the tumor had grown to the size of an egg. She underwent aggressive treatment and was able to make a full recovery. Now she is a grandmother and founder of The Cause, Inc., a local nonprofit group that helps with breast cancer awareness.

“It’s a blessing for me to be here,” Medcalf said before participating in the fashion show.

Her message is simple: Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctors about your concerns. She said if she had ignored the growing lump, she might not have lived.

“Get checked and listen to your body,” she said.



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