MOUNT VERNON — The Annual Breast Health Awareness event took place Thursday at The Station Break, featuring key survivors who spoke on their first-hand experiences with breast cancer.
After a full meal provided by The Station Break and volunteers, Becky D’Angelo, Breast Health Navigator at Knox Community Hospital, introduced the event with facts and advice on how to be aware with preventative health, no matter what your age. D’Angelo recalled that Ohio is fourth in the nation for breast cancer mortality, and with that information both men and women should be proactive in preventative measures. When it comes to caretakers, D’Angelo said that there is always something one can do for the other.
“There’s plenty that a caretaker can do, it’s not just being there, it’s being at your side. It’s doing a load of laundry or letting your friend come over and fix dinner for you, getting your groceries, those are important tasks that help that survivor,” said D’Angelo.
“As a survivor you need to be willing to take the glasses off, let people in to help you. As a caretaker, step up, say something helpful; because it’s those little things that make a big difference,” said D’Angelo.
D’Angelo then introduced Kalvari Kershner, a breast cancer survivor who had never had any history of cancer in her family. Kershner shared her experience that she was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer in 2010, and has since undergone a mastectomy, a hysterectomy and reconstruction. Kershner described her loving and full support system, from her husband, Kurt Kershner, who has stood by her every step of the way, being more than a caretaker, husband and father. Kershner’s children helped her along the way as her daughter and two sons walked in a kindergarten relay for life, her daughter raised over $500. Kershner added that when her hair had started to fall out, due to chemotherapy and radiation, her husband shaved her head and gave her a mohawk, and her two sons each got mohawks to match as well.
Kershner shared that friends, family and those around her during her treatment had told her she was going through the hard time with grace and a smile on her face, which Kershner later described her joy coming from Jesus Christ.
“I had a really, really great support system, but that’s not where my joy came from, it sure helped a lot, but that’s not where my smile came from. My joy came from Jesus. Jesus gave me the smile, he gave me the support system. He put the right doctors and nurses in my path and he healed me,” said Kershner.
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