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Month urges awareness of breast cancer
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Forsyth County News

The pink ribbon isn't just about being aware of the disease. Learning about prevention, protection, early diagnosis and available support are all key to fighting breast cancer.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It's why, for the fifth consecutive year, a pink ribbon will hang from the side of Northside Hospital-Forsyth closest to Ga. 400.

"It's our desire that everyone seeing that ribbon will be thinking about how they can play a part in participating in the ... worldwide breast cancer support network," said Lynn Jackson, hospital administrator.

"It's not just a ribbon, it really is a signification of a heart, a life, that has been touched by breast cancer."

Dozens of survivors, their friends, family and medical personnel attended the annual ribbon unveiling Wednesday afternoon at the hospital's Breast Care Center.

Diane Bader, a survivor, shared with the group her story of being diagnosed in 2005, chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy and hysterectomy.

"I thought I was going to skate through this and no one's going to know I have breast cancer," she said. "But there are bigger plans than I."

Through laughter and the support of her three daughters, Bader found strength, she said.

"Attitude is 90 percent of healing," she said. "Get your mammograms, stay really strong, and just remember, all cancer doesn't have you, you have it."

Bader also received help through the hospital's Network of Hope, which she later joined. A survivor-only organization, the network works with newly diagnosed patients by offering an experienced adviser.

"We do hospital visits. We're going and talking with patients, either before or after surgery," said new member Judi Haverland, one-year survivor.

"It's an important thing for them to see us, because they're surrounded by people who love them but they may not have this experience. It's something we connect with."

Haverland said there's "nothing better for someone who has been diagnosed than to talk to a survivor."

"We understand, we can answer questions or just hold their hand."

Dr. Shannon D. Norris, who specializes in breast care with the hospital, said breast cancer is "really about the people."

"You learn that as a physician," she said. "It's not just the disease. Everyone has a different story."