Susan G. Komen Foundation Of Chattanooga Launches This Year's Race For The Cure

Thursday, June 26, 2014 - by Hollie Webb
- photo by Hollie Webb

The Susan G. Komen Foundation of Chattanooga launched this year's Race for the Cure with stories from a group called the "Fab 15,"  made up of 15 local breast cancer survivors.

Darlene Smith spoke first, saying she was first diagnosed in January 2003. She said doctors told her the cancer was late stage, and the prognosis was not good. 

She said, "Komen came into my life in a time I when really needed it." The organization not only allowed her to meet other people facing similar diagnoses, but also on a national level funded the research that eventually helped create the drug that saved her life.

Ms. Smith said, "When a person experiences a cancer diagnosis, it affects not only that person but everyone that loves them...Now that I'm on the other side, I try to use that experience to give back to other people." 

She also pointed out, "The race means so much to so many people...75 percent of every dollar stays in our local community."

Debbie Fassino was diagnosed in November 2012 with infiltrating ductal breast cancer. 

She said, "I actually had found it myself in a self exam, and my doctor had missed it in two biopsies." By that time, it was a stage IIIb.

For six months, Ms. Fassino underwent grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments. She said the support of family, friends, and community was what got her through the lowest points, calling it "incredibly powerful." 

Ms. Fassino encouraged others to listen to their "little voice" if they ever feel something is wrong. She said while at first, she feared her doctor would think she was a "hypochondriac," her intuition persisted.

She said, "I really talk about listening to that little voice. Don't shut it up because it's talking for a reason, and it saved my life." 

Tina Kim also found her own cancer. She said it came as a shock because she had no family history and lead a very healthy lifestyle. She was also the mother of two young children at the time.

However, from the very first, she said she decided to look at it as just another chapter of her life she would have to face, emphasizing the importance of keeping a positive mental state. 

She said, "What will be will be. If my life is going to end today, nothing can change that."

Ms. Kim said she wanted to tell anyone facing a similar situation not to be scared, but to "be happy until the last minute and don't give up." 

She said, "Life is up and down." She said if you are happy but see someone else going through a difficult time, "be aware."

She continued, "When you're turn comes, accept it and go through it...God gives everybody opportunities but it depends on how you take it. Don't give up, keep going."

- Photo2 by Ho

Collegedale Celebrates First National Night Out Tuesday

The city of Collegedale will be participating in its first annual National Night Out on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at Southern Adventist University's Campus at Thatcher South and Iles Drive. The Collegedale Police Department will be joined by the Tri-Community Fire Department, Hamilton County EMS, Hamilton County 911 and Southern Adventist University's Campus Safety.   The ... (click for more)

United Way Supporter Goes Over The Edge

When Over the Edge starts sending Chattanoogans over the top ofthe SunTrust Building Thursday, KMT Creative Group’s Digital Brand Strategist Noelle Omer will be among those viewing the city from a whole new angle.   KMT Creative Group is a corporate supporter of United Way of Greater Chattanooga and its mission of advancing the common good.  “Supporting ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. The teen was identified by Juvenile Court officials as Diontae Smartt. Authorities said he has given a confession. Smartt has a detention hearing Thursday at 12:30. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a memorandum of understanding which sets forth regular raises for fire ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Expert Reasons Why To Vote

Early voting for the November election begins two weeks from today so please jump-start your plans that will assure your choices will be counted. In a fun-filled attempt to show what some of those who actually vote do during the rest of the day, I offer two examples of “those who live among us” from experts. The first are a series of questions from readers of “Dear Abby” who ask ... (click for more)