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

Contra Dance For Everyone Set For Saturday

Chattanooga Traditional Dance Society presents its monthly Contra Dance for Everyone on Saturday.  Featuring calling by Beadle and music by Turnip the Beet, the dance takes place from 7:30-11 p.m. at Brainerd United Methodist Church, Lundy Hall, 4315 Brainerd Road. Admission is $8 or $5 for students and seniors.  Everyone is invited to join the family-friendly community ... (click for more)

Master Gardener Classes Start In January

Master Gardener classes will start in January.  "The classes have been very popular over the years," said Tom Stebbins.  "There are numerous reasons people enjoy the program and suggest it to their friends.  You don't have to be a gardening expert to become a Master Gardener.  The program is about connecting with other gardeners, with community and with reliable ... (click for more)

2 Juveniles Arrested For Arson In Sevier County Fires

An investigation by special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, National Park Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office has resulted in charges being placed against two juveniles in connection with the deadly wildfires in Sevier County.  Last week, at the request of 4 th  District Attorney ... (click for more)

Walker County Will No Longer Have Full-Time County Attorney Under Whitfield Tenure; Will Add Full-Time Communications Director

Incoming Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield said under his administration there will no longer be a full-time county attorney. "We will outsource this service on a fee basis," he said. Mr. Whitfield said he has begun interviewing attorneys who might be able to help out the county from time to time. Don Oliver has long been the county attorney for Walker County ... (click for more)

Vehicle Emissions Testing Causes More Pollution Than It Prevents - And Response

While a noble cause to make sure vehicles are operating efficiently with the minimum amount of pollutants, a simple analysis makes it somewhat evident the VET program in Chattanooga causes more pollution that it prevents.  Though I don't know how many vehicles are tested on an annual basis, if you assume an average round trip of 10 miles to the nearest testing station (five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Cost Of No Discipline

At the start of the current school year, state education officials gathered at some “state testing task force” when disciplinary records from across Tennessee happened to be revealed. You probably are unaware of this, as it seems to have been kept on the “down low,” but statewide a full 20 percent of the black males in our public schools were suspended at least once during the 2014-2015 ... (click for more)