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“Paint the Town Pink” kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Monday, September 30, 2019, the City of Huntington is hosting a ‘Paint the Town Pink’ event at Pullman Square where everything will be lit up pink. WOWK 13 News was there last year when the switch was flipped, but this year, Laura Adkins is flipping that switch.

Adkins was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2013.

“I was 48 and I said, ‘I’m going to die from this, you know, I’m going to die from this,'” Adkins said. “Because you hear “cancer” and you think it’s the end.”

Adkins said a biopsy was done and she found out she had invasive ductal carcinoma.

“So that was the beginning of the journey for me,” Adkins said.

The American Cancer Society says there will be an estimated 1,500 new breast cancer cases for 2019 for women in West Virginia, 3,600 for women in Kentucky, and 10,000 for women in Ohio. Like Adkins, the women diagnosed have a long road ahead of them. She says the support from doctors, nurses, friends and family over the years – from the diagnosis through the treatment – is what kept her going.

“But once your treatment is over, ‘Now what do I do?’ I still need someone to walk this journey with me even though it’s been a few years,” Adkins said.

That’s why the event is so important to her. It brings a supportive community together.

“I was honored that I was asked to do this because I know it’s not just for me, but it’s for every woman, or man, because men have breast cancer, too,” Adkins said. “It’s for anyone who’s ever walked this journey that we’re lighting these things up tonight.”

Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center are encouraging everyone to take part in a “Pink Out.” They are asking everyone to wear something pink Tuesday, October 1.

There is also the annual Breast Cancer Survivors Dinner for breast cancer survivors who received care at the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center. Survivors are invited to attend this fun-filled evening of celebration. Registration is required. It’s at New Baptist Church, 610 28th St., Huntington at 5:30 p.m. More information: 304.526.2440

Tuesday, October 8, is the annual Ladies in Pink Luncheon. According to a news release, this luncheon serves as a fundraiser for the St. Mary’s Pink Ribbon Fund, which provides breast health services to uninsured and underinsured women. Brenda Hawthorne, MS, RDN, LD, and Alex Beelen, PT, DPT, will present “Nutrition and Exercise: Important Weapons in the Fight Against Cancer.” Robin Whaley, breast cancer survivor, will also speak. Tickets are $35. Reservations can be made by calling 304.526.1349, or by mailing a check payable to St. Mary’s Foundation to St. Mary’s Regional Cancer Center, 2900 First Ave., Huntington, WV 25702. It will be at Guyan Country Club, 5450 U.S. Route 60 East from 12-1 p.m. Shopping in the parlor begins at 11 a.m. For more information: 304.526.1298

Wednesday, October 9, there is a free breast screening at St. Mary’s Medical Center from 1 to 4 p.m. According to the news release, this free breast screening consists of a free breast exam and a coupon for a discounted mammogram. Screenings must be scheduled in advance. For more information call 304.526.1492.

Thursday, October 10, at 5:30 p.m. there is a breast cancer support group meeting at Fratelli’s on Route 60 in Barboursville. According to the news release, this free support group is for patients with breast cancer, breast cancer survivors and their loved ones. Attendees may order off the menu at their own expense. For more information call 304.526.8221.

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