Pink Out for breast cancer has special meaning in West Columbia

By October 12, 2017 October 23rd, 2017 Good News

Breast cancer gets a lot of attention, especially in the month of October. And that certainly rings true in West Columbia.

West Columbia Community Liaison Sandra “Sandy” Vergara Duarte died on Sept. 25, after years of battling breast cancer. She was with the city for 17 years. Her life – and her fight- made a definite impact.

“Sandy was an example of how a lady carries herself, even when facing the diagnosis of breast cancer,” said Wilhemenia Frazier, who works in the West Columbia Municipal Court. She and Sandy were dear friends.
Frazier said Sandy put up a courageous fight against breast cancer. She lived for seven years after being diagnosed.

“We were like sisters. We were very close,” said Frazier. And she said Sandy was a great example of keeping the faith in the most challenging of times.

“She never changed.,” said Frazier. “She always had a smile and she was a good and giving person, and she had a loving heart.”

Frazier also said in her battle with cancer Sandy would come back to work after receiving chemotherapy treatments. “She never stopped fighting,” said Frazier.

West Columbia Mayor Bobby Horton remembered Sandy as a person with a “good heart” who was dedicated to helping others. Sandy worked assistance organizations to aid the needy. She also helped put together a city program that provided food rations over holiday periods like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

“She did a very job,” Horton said, she was conscientious and worked as long as she could.”

This is the month that Sandy’s life is commemorated.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure.

The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.

One of the leaders in the fight against breast Cancer is West Columbia’s Lexington Medical Center.

“One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her life,” said Jennifer Wilson, Public Relations Manager at Lexington Medical Center “It’s the most diagnosed cancer.”

Wilson said through the LMC Foundation’s position as a regional leader in the fight against breast cancer, the Compassionate Cancer Program has been established.

With the slogan: “It’s our fight too,” Wilson said Lexington Medical Center personnel stands side-by-side with the hospital’s cancer patients in an effort to provide unwavering support.

One of the foundation’s highest-profile events during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is Womens Night Out.

Womens Night Out is a 10-year-old annual breast cancer dinner. It benefits the LMC Foundation. The foundation uses the funds raised by the sold-out event of more than 800 to help provide 3D imaging in the process of conducting mammograms.

Wilson said 3D imaging is the most advanced technology to detect breast cancer.
Womens Night Out is also a celebration to honor breast cancer survivors. There is a fashion show that is a part of the Womens Night Out and breast cancer survivors are the runway models in the fashion show.

This year Womens Night Out features speaker Jina Moore. She was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer at age 45. A school administrator known for her love of students — and affection for beautiful shoes — Jina celebrated each week after radiation treatment by putting on heels and dancing her way out of the hospital. Her confidence and positive attitude helped her become a beloved role model for her two children, her students and the staff of her school.

Jina will share her very personal journey with cancer and how an affinity for shoes helped pave the way to her survival.

The Women’s Night Out is on Tuesday (Oct 17.)

While there is a very organized effort in the fight against breast cancer, October and pink have become a natural mix for many in West Columbia.

Ashley Hallman works at Northside Middle School. She said it’s important to bring awareness to the prevalence of breast cancer.
Northside is vigilant in the effort to acknowledge breast cancer awareness.

Northside Middle School supports breast cancer awareness month by sponsoring a “Dig Pink” theme for the school’s last home volleyball game of the season, said Amy Merle, the NMS volleyball coach.

In support of the fight against breast cancer, students, staff and players don their pink outfits. The school has supported breast cancer awareness for years.

Several other schools in West Columbia, and Lexington School District Two hold Pink Out events to support breast cancer awareness.

West Columbia is a community that has been touched by breast cancer, and it is important for its residents to acknowledge the fight against breast cancer.

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