AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– We’re seeing a lot of pink these days, and that means one thing: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this is Miracle Mile Walk Week.
We’re going to meet a survivor in a moment who has a very special connection to the Miracle Mile Walk. But first, let’s talk numbers.
The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 300,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women this year– and 2,800 new cases in men. You know it’s important to get yearly screenings and mammograms as directed by your physician, but there’s more.
Doctors say it’s also very important to know your risk factors. Ask who had breast cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, metastatic prostrate cancer, male breast cancer. Any sort of cancer. And having that list ready when you see your doctor helps you have that conversation about family history. That will help your doctor decide if you meet criteria for meeting with a geneticist or having high-risk screening.
Someone who knows firsthand about a breast cancer diagnosis is with me today. Jeanette Goad is a 22-year survivor, and she happens to have a very special connection to the Miracle Mile Walk. Her daughter-in-law is Laurie Ott, the president of Piedmont Augusta Foundation.
“When I got my diagnosis all I could do was shake. We had been watching my granddaughter, from the time she was born. And I was sitting on the porch and I would put her over my shoulder. It was time for a nap and I was patting her, and every time I’d do that, I’d feel a pain. And so when I went to the doctor, she said you need to see a surgeon and have a biopsy. So that’s how I found it.”
She explains what happend next, after her doctors indeed discovered cancer.
“Well, I had a mastectomy. And after that, because it was so early, I did not need radiation or chemo. So I was very thankful about that. So that, to me, is the reason you have to find out very early. As early as you feel like you might have a problem.”
At the time of her diagnosis, Goad had been married only a couple of years.
“And I’m getting ready to have a mastectomy. Which was not very — it was not very easy. But he always said to me, and he still says it, ‘You didn’t lose a breast, you lost cancer.’ Between him and my family, my support has been wonderful. And my granddaughter, who I used to pat on my shoulder, has always walked with me.”
The Miracle Mile Walk is all about celebrating survivors. It’s about honoring the memory of people that we’ve lost. But that community support– the energy at the Miracle Mile Walk– is tremendous. It’s coming up this Saturday, October 21st at the Augusta Common. Drop-off donations begin at 7:30, and the stores open then. The walk begins at 9:00. It is a 3-mile fun walk.