This month we honor an Edgefield County health advocate, Nita Zachow, with the Giving Your Best award.
A 2-time breast cancer survivor, Nita started volunteering at MCG in 1972 and she still volunteers there today. She speaks at schools and service groups about the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition, which she founded. Nita believes cancer can be prevented through proper lifestyle... and boy, does she walk the talk!
Whenever the News Channel 6 team decides to make a surprise award presentation in a restaurant... "We are looking for the lovely Nita Zachow!" ... there's always the risk that we'll catch someone with a mouth full of food! And that's exactly what happened when we showed up to honor Nita Zachow.
A good sport, Nita was quick to divert the attention away from herself.
"And I see the people here, who are the ones who have worked with me so much, and have been dedicated and given of their time for helping others, which they deserve this award, they really do."
Just this month, Nita and the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition gave $95,000 to the Medical College at Georgia Regents University for cancer research. It's a deeply personal cause for Nita and her sister, Dr. Celeste Spence, who was quick to jump on board when Nita founded the BCPC.
"Nita, myself and our mother were all in the hospital in January of 2000 with cancer."
They also lost a brother to cancer when he was a teenager.
"Losing a brother to cancer, that was not easy," Nita explains, "so I thought, 'well, what can I do?'"
What she did was choose to live a lifestyle that promotes health and prevents disease, including totally changing the way she ate and exercising.
"I do pilates three times a week, I ride my bike a couple of times a week, I'm just telling people, 'start where you are.' If you are sitting in a chair move your arms up and down. And our message is, you have to be proactive if you want to beat cancer. You cannot beat it sitting on the couch with your thumb in your mouth saying 'woe unto me, there's nothing I can do.' Yes, there's a lot you can do."
Celeste says her sister loves giving of herself to others and is a great encourager to all who know her.
She has a gift and can encourage people, and not only does she encourage these people to get on the bandwagon, she's like a light bulb."
To learn more about the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition of the CSRA, click here.
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